Sunday, July 26, 2015

Ted Cruz Doubles Down in Mitch McConnell 'Attack'

 The United States Senate was open for a rare Sunday session in which Senator Ted Cruz continued his battle against the Republican establishment and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The Friday session revealed that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell lied to GOP Senators about legislation and blocked  GOP Senator's input into legislation by filling the amendment tree, among other things. The Friday session was covered in a previous blog.
Ted Cruz Accuses Mitch McConnell of Telling a 'Flat-out Lie'

First, from Politico:

Republican leaders delivered a smackdown of Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee on the Senate floor Sunday — the latest in an increasingly testy rivalry marked by accusations of deceit and grandstanding. 
The showdown was triggered by an attempt by Cruz (R-Texas) and Lee (R-Utah) to employ arcane Senate procedures to take a tougher stand on Iran and to defund Planned Parenthood. Republican leaders led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) viewed the move as an affront to Senate rules and squelched the effort in dramatic fashion — an embarrassing setback for two of the chamber’s most conservative members.

First Cruz tried unsuccessfully to force the Senate to consider an amendment to a transportation bill stating that sanctions on Iran could not be lifted until the country recognizes Israel’s right to exist and frees four American hostages. But he was unable to rally enough senators to back his effort to get a roll call vote on the matter.
Then Lee tried to push through a vote on defunding Planned Parenthood. That, too, failed to muster enough support for a vote. On Monday, Lee is expected to try to repeal Obamacare with a simple majority vote of 51 senators, effectively circumventing the 60-vote requirement to break a filibuster after Democrats defeated an attempt to repeal the health care law on Sunday.
Now the Sunday Senate action as reported at TheHill.com
Cruz doubles down in McConnell attack
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) doubled-down Sunday in his attacks on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). 
Cruz on Friday accused McConnell of lying to him about whether he had agreed to allow Democrats a vote on extending the Export-Import Bank during negotiations earlier this summer on trade legislation.

On Sunday, he repeated the charge — which McConnell and his allies have criticized. 
“On Friday I gave an unusual speech, a speech unlike any I have given in this chamber. It was not a speech I was happy to give,” said Cruz, a Republican presidential candidate. “I described an explicit promise the majority leader had made to me and to all 53 Republican senators.” 
He said that McConnell made a promise “in front of every Republican senator” while “looking me in the eyes [that] there was no deal on the Export-Import Bank.” 
“We saw on Friday that promise was false," Cruz said. "That promise was made and that promise was broken.” 
Cruz said that McConnell took steps to “force a vote to reauthorize the Export-Import bank and they were directly contrary to the promises the majority leader made to all 53 Republicans.” 
“My saying so [on Friday] may be uncomfortable but it is a simple fact,” Cruz said.
He also responded to critics. 
Ted Cruz on the Senate Floor, Sunday July 26, 2015 

“I would note that it is entirely consistent with decorum and with the nature of this body traditionally as the world's greatest deliberative body, to speak the truth,” Cruz said. “Speaking the truth about actions is entirely consistent with civility.” 
Asked if he went to far during his Friday speech, Cruz instead blasted the press for not writing about whether or not McConnell lied about a deal. 
"I would note that on the discussion of my speech on Friday, there have been no stories written about whether in fact of Mitch McConnell told the truth," he said. "None of you have written the story about whether as to whether he told the truth or lied, the substantive story."