Around 5:30 PM EST this evening, Rand Paul joined Ted Cruz on the Senate Floor to discuss the prospect of defunding Obamacare. Cruz began his much-anticipated “filibuster” to overhaul the Affordable Care Act at 2:40 PM this afternoon.

“We should not shut down the government,” Cruz said in response to the Kentucky Senator’s question asking if that was his singular objective. “And I sincerely hope that Senator Reid and President Obama” don’t force a government shutdown either by ignoring the will of the American people.

Asked in a follow-up question by Senator Paul if he was open to negotiating with Democrats — i.e., brokering a “middle ground” compromise short of fully defunding the president’s health care law — Cruz was unambiguous.

“No,” Cruz said emphatically. “Because I have repeatedly told Texans I will not vote for a Continuing Resolution that funds one penny of Obamacare.”