On Friday, Ted Cruz took to the Senate floor and accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of lying, and then eviscerated the GOP Senate majority’s record for this Congress. Politico reports that Cruz:
“…accused the Senate majority leader of breaking his word to him and the rest of the GOP conference over McConnell’s plans for the controversial Export-Import Bank, the country’s chief export credit agency. In Cruz’s telling, McConnell privately promised him and other Republicans that ‘there was no deal’ with a handful of senators who were seeking to revive the bank in exchange for their votes to advance a major trade bill in May.
‘What we saw today was an absolute demonstration that not only what he told every Republican senator, but what he told the press over and over again was a simple lie,’ said Cruz, a fierce opponent of the bank. ‘The majority and minority leader, arm-in-arm again, should not team up against the American taxpayers.’”
The bank has become a sticking point between the Republican establishment and conservatives in the Senate. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has cited the bank’s ability to promote American exports and its role in job creation. But, conservative groups, such as Heritage Action and Americans for Prosperity argue that the bank is just corporate welfare and needs to be dissolved. In July, the bank’s charter expired, but a bipartisan majority in the Senate had been vigorously attempting to revive it. And, on Sunday lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in favor of bringing the bank back to life. The Washington Examiner reports that, “an amendment to revive the bank, which saw its authorization come to an end in June thanks in part to staunch opposition from conservative lawmakers, was attached to another measure that passed 67-26.”
Cruz’s discourse on the Senate floor included taking to task the GOP Senate majority’s record, refuting McConnell’s claim that the new Republican majority has fulfilled its promises to voters. “We’ve had a Republican majority in both houses of Congresses now for about six months. What has that majority done? First thing we did, in December, we passed a $1 trillion crominbus plan filled with pork and corporate welfare. Then this majority voted to fund Obamacare, voted to fund President Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty. And then the leadership rammed through the confirmation of Loretta Lynch as attorney general.”
He then added: “Madam President, which of those decisions would be one iota different if Harry Reid were still majority leader? Not a one. Not a one.”
Cruz also accused McConnell of “behaving” like Reid, by limiting debate and amendments on the Senate floor. He went on to lambast the GOP leader for not putting up enough of a fight in trying to get Republican votes during the debate over an Iran congressional review bill last Spring.
McConnell responded to the criticism by agreeing to “fast-track” a stand-alone bill that would defund Planned Parenthood. A stand-alone measure, however, would be subject to filibuster, thus requiring 60 votes in order to proceed. An amendment, on the other hand, would only require 50 votes for it to be included in the Highway Bill. McConnell ruled the Planned Parenthood amendment was not relevant to the Highway Bill and subsequently blocked it.
But, that’s not where the controversy ended–McConnell also made the same determination for “Kate’s Law.” This particular bill, named after Kate Steinle, a 32-year-old woman who was allegedly shot and killed by an illegal alien, would impose a mandatory five-year prison term on any illegal alien convicted of a violent felony if they had previously been deported. McConnell blocked that bill, too.
On Saturday, during an appearance in New Hampshire, presidential candidate Rick Santorum echoing the sentiments of Cruz, described GOP lawmakers as suffering from “Stockholm syndrome.” Santorum suggested that lawmakers have effectively bonded with their kidnapper, the Obama administration. According to Congressional Quarterly, Cruz and Santorum are right regarding the current senate GOP, demonstrating that as of April of this year, the Senate GOP voted with Obama at a record pace:
“CQ Vote Watch, a new tool that offers daily reports on voting patterns, shows that Obama’s victory percentage on Senate votes where he’s taken a position is at 82 percent. That’s a bit lower than recent years but higher than his number in 2012, when Democrats ruled the chamber.
Democrats are voting with the president at or near record levels, and Republicans are too. So far, they’ve voted with Obama 54 percent of the time, just a tick below last year’s record 55 percent.”
- “They promised to defund Obamacare – they fully funded it.
- They promised to secure the border and end amnesty – they engaged in a transparent fraud on voters and backed down when Obama held his ground, so when it came time to pass the Department of Homeland Security appropriation they gave Obama everything he wanted, and then some.
- They promised to block the Iran nuclear weapons program – instead they passed the Corker bill and all but guaranteed Iran’s radical Muslim theocracy will shortly become a nuclear armed state destabilizing the entire Middle East and threatening Israel with annihilation.”
Cruz underscored his argument by insisting that, “there are a host of amendments that the American people are focused on, things like defunding Planned Parenthood after the gruesome video” Cruz said. He admonished McConnell for not focusing on Americans’ concerns, saying that, “the majority leader doesn’t want to vote on that. That’s actually something the American people are focused on.”