On the morning of Christmas Eve, 2009, I cast my vote against Obamacare on the floor of the Senate.
In the years since, I have introduced and co-sponsored 27 bills to repeal or defund Obamacare and have voted to do so at every opportunity.
Last week, thanks to the support of conservatives in the House of Representatives, that chamber passed a bill that funds the government while defunding Obamacare. I support this measure, and that is why I voted to bring it before the Senate for an up-or-down vote.
This isnít a show vote. This is a unique and rare opportunity to defund Obamacare with a simple majority - 51 votes. That means Harry Reid can lose, at most, four members of his caucus and still succeed in funding Obamacare. If he loses five, Obamacare is defunded. I want to have that vote.
In my view, filibustering and blocking a bill that defunds Obamacare is not the best strategy to defund Obamacare. The only thing it guarantees is a government shutdown, during which Obamacare would still be funded.
History has taught us that Republicans would unduly shoulder the blame in such a scenario. This would weaken our party, hurt us at the polls and remove us even further from our goal of defunding Obamacare.
An up-or-down vote, on the other hand, forces vulnerable, red-state Democrats to either double-down on Obamacare or move to defund it. We need to convince five to take the latter approach.
In my view, passing bipartisan House and Senate defunding bills is a better strategy than no vote at all.
Itís no secret that Obamacare is crumbling under its own weight. The fact that the country is still debating it three-and-a-half years after it was signed into law is a testament to how ill-conceived, unpopular and damaging it is.
Examples of its failures abound: Insurance premiums are rising, doctors are taking fewer Medicare patients and businesses are cutting jobs and reducing hours. All this, and the law hasnít even been fully implemented yet.
Second chances in life are rare. For the Democratic senators who voted for Obamacare in 2009 - and those who were elected after it became law - this is their second chance.
With the benefit of hindsight and pressure from the American people, they now have the opportunity to recant their support with dignity.
And for those Democrats who insist on riding this train wreck of a law over the cliff, they will have to stand in front of their constituents and explain why it is worth spending more borrowed money on.
Republicans are united against Obamacare. In approaching this vote, we must be united in pressuring our Democratic colleagues to stop listening to President Barack Obamaís 2008 campaign rhetoric and start listening to their constituents.
If they truly do this - if they use their vote in the U.S. Senate to honestly reflect the will of their constituents - I have little doubt that a vote to defund Obamacare will prevail.
Senator Cornyn serves on the Finance and Judiciary Committees.† He serves as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committeeís Immigration, Refugees and Border Security subcommittee. He served previously as Texas Attorney General, Texas Supreme Court Justice, and Bexar County District Judge.