Update: Sen. Cruz ends talkathon against Obamacare

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is seen on a television screen in the Senate Press Gallery during the tenth hour of his speech on the Senate floor Wednesday in Washington. Cruz began a lengthy speech urging his colleagues to oppose moving ahead on a bill he supports. The measure would prevent a government shutdown and defund Obamacare. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Sen. Ted Cruz has ended a marathon Senate speech opposing President Barack Obama’s health care law after talking for 21 hours, 19 minutes.

The tea party conservative stopped speaking at 12 noon EDT Wednesday, sitting down to yield the floor. The Texas freshman began talking Tuesday afternoon, seeking the urge defunding of the 3-year-old health system overhaul. Fellow conservatives helped by making occasional remarks.

Cruz had virtually no chance of prevailing.

The Senate debated the House bill defunding the health care law while preventing a government shutdown on Tuesday. Cruz wanted to derail it because Senate Democrats have the votes to remove the health care provision before sending the bill back to the House.

Many Republicans opposed Cruz’s effort, fearing their party might be blamed if the government closes.