Cruz: McConnell Told ‘Flat-Out Lie’ to Conservatives

Some Republicans erupt after majority leader announces a vote on attaching Ex-Im Bank reauthorization to the highway bill.

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 16: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks after meeting with Republican senators regarding a bipartisan solution for the pending budget and debt limit impasse at the U.S. Capitol October 16, 2013 in Washington, DC. The Senate announced that it had reached a bipartisan deal on funding the federal government and the extending the nation's debt limit after 16 days of a government shutdown.
National Journal
July 24, 2015, 7:03 a.m.

In a strik­ing breach of typ­ic­al Sen­ate de­cor­um, Sen. Ted Cruz sug­ges­ted the Sen­ate Re­pub­lic­an lead­er was a li­ar on the cham­ber floor Fri­day over an eco­nom­ic is­sue that in­flames con­ser­vat­ive act­iv­ists.

“I can­not be­lieve he would tell a flat-out lie,” said Cruz, a 2016 pres­id­en­tial con­tender, on the Sen­ate floor. “What we just saw today was an ab­so­lute demon­stra­tion that, not only what he told every Re­pub­lic­an sen­at­or, but what he told the press over and over and over again was a simple lie.”

Cruz’s tar­get, Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Mitch Mc­Con­nell, an­nounced Fri­day that there would be a vote on reau­thor­iz­ing the Ex­port-Im­port Bank, which has helped fin­ance U.S. ex­ports for 81 years. In June, the bank’s charter ex­pired amid con­ser­vat­ive op­pos­i­tion and right-wing claims that it rep­res­ents, as Cruz said Fri­day, a “clas­sic ex­ample of cronyism and cor­por­ate wel­fare.” Cruz has claimed that Mc­Con­nell told him and oth­ers that there was not a “deal” to hold a vote on Ex-Im dur­ing last month’s de­bate over free trade.

Mc­Con­nell also an­nounced Fri­day a vote on an amend­ment to re­peal Obama­care, al­though that failed to as­suage con­ser­vat­ives. Cruz called it “empty show­man­ship,” as it will ob­vi­ously fail to reach the 60-vote threshold. Sen. Jeff Ses­sions de­scribed the two amend­ments called up as “busi­ness as usu­al in the Sen­ate” and a form of “horse-trad­ing.”

“I think we’re spend­ing a lot of time on in­side base­ball [on] what big busi­ness want and oth­er people want, in­stead of ask­ing what the av­er­age Amer­ic­an wants. We need to do bet­ter about that,” he ad­ded.

But many sen­at­ors will be happy to vote on the Ex-Im Bank; 65 sen­at­ors voted in fa­vor of it in a test vote last month. Sen. Lind­sey Gra­ham, a Re­pub­lic­an pres­id­en­tial can­did­ate who rep­res­ents South Car­o­lina, a state with a heavy pres­ence of Ex-Im’s top be­ne­fi­ciary, Boe­ing, told Na­tion­al Journ­al, “This is great.”

“That was the agree­ment we had,” he said. “Mitch prom­ised a vote on the high­way bill, which is a must-pass bill, and he kept his word as he al­ways does. So I think we’ll get clo­ture and it will pass.”

Out­side of pres­id­en­tial cam­paign the­at­rics, the amend­ments to the high­way bill may not mat­ter much: The House has passed its own ver­sion, a five-month patch that Con­gress could re­sort to in or­der to fund the na­tion’s trans­port­a­tion pro­jects ahead of a cru­cial end of the month spend­ing dead­line.

And as for Cruz’s ac­cus­a­tions, Utah Sen. Or­rin Hatch, the most seni­or Re­pub­lic­an in the cham­ber, said to “keep in mind he’s run­ning for pres­id­ent.”

“I don’t con­done the use of that kind of lan­guage against an­oth­er sen­at­or un­less they can show defin­it­ive proof that there was a lie,” he ad­ded. “And I know the lead­er didn’t lie.”

Mc­Con­nell’s of­fice did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment.

This art­icle has been up­dated.

What We're Following See More »
Trump Says He's Completed Answers to Mueller's Questions
1 hours ago
Grassley Will Chair Judiciary Committee, Leave Finance
3 hours ago
DeVos Overhauls Guidance to Colleges on Sex Misconduct Cases
4 hours ago

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has updated the Obama administration's controversial rules on how colleges handle claims of sexual misconduct by students under Title IX. "The proposed new rules aim to significantly enhance legal protections for the accused, and reflect a sentiment expressed personally by President Trump that men are being unfairly presumed guilty." The rules, which must undergo a public comment period, would allow schools to elevate the burden of proof in sex cases to "clear and convincing evidence." They would also permit cross-examination, and lift time limits on investigations.

Judge Rules In Favor Of CNN
4 hours ago
Julian Assange Charged Under Seal
5 hours ago

"WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been charged under seal, prosecutors inadvertently revealed in a recently unsealed court filing ... The disclosure came in a filing in a case unrelated to Assange. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kellen S. Dwyer, urging a judge to keep the matter sealed, wrote that 'due to the sophistication of the defendant and the publicity surrounding the case, no other procedure is likely to keep confidential the fact that Assange has been charged.' Later, Dwyer wrote the charges would 'need to remain sealed until Assange is arrested.'" Assange has lived in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London since 2012, "afraid that if he steps outside he will be arrested."


Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.