By Kevin Price, Publisher and Editor in Chief, USDR. .
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) captured the attention of his colleagues and the media when he took the Majority Leader of the Senate Majority Leader to task for allegedly lying to his colleagues over Barack Obama’s trade deal.
After speaking on the Senate floor of Friday, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) issued the following statement:
“We’ve just seen something extraordinary on the Senate floor. The American people elected a Republican majority believing that a Republican majority would be somehow different from a Democratic majority in the United States Senate. Unfortunately, the way the current Senate operates, there is one party, the Washington party.
“Senate leadership consists of the McConnell-Reid leadership team. They operate as a team. They support the same priorities. If you look at what has occurred in the United States Senate since the Republicans took a majority, we immediately returned after winning a historic majority to pass a trillion dollar ‘cromnibus’ bill filled with corporate welfare and pork. Then, the so-called Republican majority voted to fund Obamacare. Then, the so-called Republican majority voted to fund President Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty. Then, the so-called Republican majority voted to confirm Loretta Lynch as attorney general. Then, just moments ago, the so-called Republican majority voted to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, an egregious example of cronyism and corporate welfare.
“Every one of those is the priority of the Democratic leader Harry Reid. Every one of those is the priority of the Republican leader, Mitch McConnell. They operate as a team, expanding Washington and undermining the liberty of the people. What we just saw a moment ago is unprecedented in the annals of Senate history. It consisted of the majority leader and the minority leader denying members the ability to have votes on their amendments and indeed the ability even to have a roll call vote. The denial of a second, as you just saw a moment ago, which was aggressively whipped by the majority, is an extraordinary measure designed to gag Senators and enforce the will of the McConnell-Reid leadership team.
“It saddens me as a Republican to see Republican leadership lead the effort to kill an amendment that would have prevented lifting sanctions on Iran unless and until Iran recognizes Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and unless and until Iran releases American hostages. Make no mistake – granting a sufficient second for a roll call vote is done customarily in the United States Senate. Denying it is extraordinary, and it is done as a consequence of the majority leader Mitch McConnell being afraid for his members to be on record on this issue.
“We then, subsequently, saw Senator Mike Lee from Utah bring up his amendment to defund Planned Parenthood. We have seen in recent weeks gruesome videos of senior officials of Planned Parenthood discussing the selling of body parts of unborn children. These videos are horrifying, and yet it saddens me greatly that the Republican leader led the effort to continue the taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood.
“Make no mistake — when the majority leader whipped Republicans to vote alongside Democrats, it was no surprise that Democrats did not want to vote on that because Democrats in this chamber do not purport to support the right to life. But to see the so-called Republican leadership whip against allowing a vote to defund Planned Parenthood — it has the virtue of clarity. It makes clear that the McConnell-Reid leadership team is united in favor of big government spending and debt and power.
“The McConnell-Reid leadership team has no interest in cutting off one penny of funds to Planned Parenthood, which is why leader Mitch McConnell just blocked a vote on defunding Planned Parenthood. To the millions of Americans who rallied in November believing if only we got a Republican majority in the Senate something would be different, this was a clarifying and a sad moment.”
Cruz’s colleagues were not amused. Politico reports that “Ted Cruz just wanted a roll-call vote on Sunday. Instead, he got a smackdown.” In an effort to get amendments to the Import-Export Bank (in an effort to defund it), he realized hod difficult his situation had become:
“So when Cruz came to the floor looking for 16 senators to agree to hold a roll-call vote, only three raised their hands. McConnell, sitting at his desk, turned around and peered at Cruz, who looked stunned at what had just happened. The Senate dispensed with his effort by a voice vote and quickly moved on, doing the same to Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), a Cruz ally who sought to use arcane procedures to force a vote on defunding Planned Parenthood.”
The vast majority of Cruz’s colleagues are dismissing the Senator’s bold actions as pure antics for his presidential campaign and he is being frozen out by them in his legislative efforts. They are making it clear that if he does not play nice, he will not play at all in Washington, regardless of how well it plays in the heart land. Cruz is learning the hard way how important “business as usual” is to the Senate. The reality is, Cruz’s actions were exactly the type his constituents wanted both in Texas, which got him in the Senate and in Iowa where he wants to perform well in the Caucuses.
This type of attack by establishment Republicans may be the exact type of action that will have Cruz crying all the way to early GOP victories.