By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
Ted Cruz threw down the conservative gauntlet in the Senate this week. This was inspiring… it is something I have never seen happen before in my lifetime. He boldly and honestly called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a liar. It was long overdue and immensely satisfying. The straw that broke the elephant’s back was the vote on reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank. McConnell went one lie too far this time.
Cruz voted for Obama’s Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) the first go-around in the Senate based on McConnell’s word and he famously turned against the fast-track trade authority later. Because it was based on lies.
In a stunning attack on a leader of his own party, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of lying to him and said he couldn’t be trusted.
Cruz, a Texan who is running for president but ranks low in early polling, delivered the broadside in a speech on the Senate floor, an extraordinary departure from the norms of Senate behavior that demand courtesy and respect.
At issue are assurances Cruz claimed McConnell, R-Ky., had given that there was no deal to allow a vote to renew the federal Export-Import Bank – a little-known federal agency that has become a rallying cry for conservatives. Cruz rose to deliver his remarks moments after McConnell had lined up a vote on the Export-Import Bank for coming days.
“It saddens me to say this. I sat in my office, I told my staff the majority leader looked me in the eye and looked 54 Republicans in the eye. I cannot believe he would tell a flat-out lie, and I voted based on those assurances that he made to each and every one of us,” Cruz said.
“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.”
A spokesman said McConnell would have no response. The majority leader was not on the Senate floor when Cruz issued his attack.
“Today is a sad day for this institution,” said Cruz with a heavy heart. “What we just witnessed this morning is profoundly disappointing.” Betrayal always is, especially from someone you really, really want to believe in. Cruz made his statements after McConnell set up a procedural vote to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, which expired last month. Democrats claim McConnell agreed to allow a vote on attaching the Export-Import Bank to “must-pass” legislation to win support from Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) for a trade package earlier this year.
When Cruz approached McConnell on the floor in a private conversation, McConnell, with biblical overtones, denied to him three times that there was such a deal. “The majority leader was visibly angry with me that I would ask him such a question,” Cruz said. “The majority looked at me and said ‘there is no deal, there is no deal, there is no deal.'” The good senator’s staff tried to warn him about McConnell, but Cruz just couldn’t believe that McConnell would lie to his face and to every other conservative out there like this. He was wrong and learned of McConnell’s treachery the hard way. But then Ted Cruz did something that no one in my memory has done… he called McConnell out for his lying ways on the Senate floor. McConnell’s errand boy say’s he has no response. Maybe not verbally, but Ted Cruz has made a very powerful and evil enemy. You know what? I don’t think he cares. Good.
Cruz pointed out that McConnell’s move to allow the Export-Import Bank vote shows that he does not always mean what he says – that he’s dishonest. “Well, we now know that when the majority leader looks us in the eyes and makes an explicit commitment that he is willing to say things that he knows are false,” Cruz added. He also pointed out that it could have ramifications down the road. That’s an understatement. We now have open warfare in the Senate and that is a good thing. “That has consequences for how this body operates,” Cruz said. “If you or I cannot trust what the majority leader tells us, that will have consequences on other legislation, as well as on how this institution operates.” Plainer and truer words have never been spoken.
It doesn’t end there. Cruz also berated McConnell for using a procedural maneuver to prevent other amendments from being offered to the Highway Bill. That’s the vehicle that will be used for the Export-Import Bank vote. In a breathtakingly hypocritical move, McConnell “filled the tree” just as Harry Reid frequently did. This was to stop amendments when Democrats had a Senate majority. Of course, when McConnell did it, Reid screamed to the heavens. McConnell also set up a vote on repealing ObamaCare. That particular maneuver was a faux move to appease conservatives – it would not have succeeded and McConnell knew it, so it was safe to set up the vote. Cruz is a smart guy and saw right through McConnell’s machinations. “I agree with Senator Reid when he said the ObamaCare amendment is a cynical amendment. Of course it is. It is empty showmanship,” Cruz added.
This is a bitter fight between the GOP leadership and conservatives and it’s about to get real. While Donald Trump is excoriating the media and bringing illegal immigration to the forefront, Cruz is in the Senate stirring the pot and calling out the Washington Cartel. Joining Cruz in the political brawl are Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rand Paul (R-KY).
From the Conservative Review:
McConnell has avoided one procedural blockade. The Senate Majority Leader has attached the highway bill to an unrelated bill from the House to make sure that he does not violate the Constitution.
Leader McConnell called up a House passed bill and added the text of the highway bill to it, then he called up an amendment that allows the Export-Import Bank to continue. This married an unrelated House bill to the highway bill and EX-IM. But then Senator McConnell did something that was unexpected.
Next, Senator McConnell offered an amendment for a full repeal of Obamacare. This seemed to be an attempt to intimidate the Tea Party faction in the Senate to take the vote on a full repeal of Obamacare and walk away from the fight over EX-IM. The problem is that nobody believes the Obamacare amendment to be anything other than meaningless vote.
McConnell then proceeded to use a parliamentary maneuver, abhorred by many conservatives and Senate procedure strict constructionists, to block all other amendments to the bill. This tactic, known as “Filling the Amendment Tree,” enraged many members of the Republican caucus who wanted to offer their own amendments to the bill. When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) ran the Senate he frequently filled the amendment tree as a way to block Republicans from ever offering amendments. This obstructionist tactic still rubs many conservatives the wrong way and is still considered by many to be an abuse of power.
Enter Senator Ted Cruz. Cruz took to the floor and offered an amendment to condition the Iran deal on Iran recognizing the right of Israel to exist and calling on Iran to release Americans held hostage. The Cruz amendment violates the Senate’s rules, because, under the current scenario, only certain amendments are allowed.
Do you see the shady dealings that McConnell is engaged in here? It’s dirty political pool. All meant to reinstate the Export-Import Bank by whatever means necessary. It’s a slap in the face to conservatives and furthers crony capitalism in the ranks.
This is a battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party between Progressives on the Right and Constitutional conservatives. As Reagan did, the conservatives are trying to reform the Republican Party from within. The fight will be bloody and definitive. If the Progressives win, a third party will be born and the GOP will go the way of the Whigs. Marxist rule will most likely prevail in America for the foreseeable future if that happens. If the conservatives ascend, then the GOP will take a much needed sharp turn to the right and the Tea Party and other conservatives will become the new face of the GOP. It will mark the beginning of the war to return the US to its Constitutional roots and freedoms.
From The Daily Signal:
Conservatives in the U.S. Senate are gearing up to challenge Republican leadership today, setting their sights on a plan to repeal Obamacare with 51 votes—a measure that will easily pass if the 54 GOP senators support it.
The move comes after several contentious days of fighting over the GOP leadership’s priorities. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., allowed a vote Sunday to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank despite his stated opposition. It passed, 67-26, but drew a sharp rebuke from conservatives.
“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,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said. “Unfortunately, the way the current Senate operates, there is one party, the Washington party.”
Mike Lee and Ted Cruz couldn’t get anywhere over the weekend in the Senate on their Planned Parenthood and Iran amendments. Both were denied a roll call vote, a maneuver Senate experts said was highly unusual. Cruz called it an “unprecedented” plot by McConnell and Reid. And that is exactly what it was.
“What we just saw a moment ago is unprecedented in the annals of Senate history,” Cruz said. “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.” Mike Lee will be making his move for an amendment on repealing Obamacare shortly and we can only hope and pray that it goes through, but I doubt it. The Export-Import Bank measure easily passed Sunday with unanimous Democrat support. Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell renewed funding for the Export-Import Bank despite previous promises. Then McConnell blocked defunding Planned Parenthood and Ted Cruz’ Kate’s Law, which mandates that undocumented aliens who are deported and return to the United States would receive a mandatory five year sentence in a federal penitentiary upon conviction. That piece of legislation arose after Trump turned a spotlight on Sanctuary Cities – specifically San Francisco where Kate Steinle was murdered by an illegal alien criminal who had been deported five times. Tell me again whose side McConnell is on?
Ted Cruz was predictably rebuked by McConnell’s henchmen: Texas Sen. John Cornyn, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah. All because he exposed the backroom deals of Mitch McConnell and the fact that he’s a prolific liar. McConnell is sooo busy with his backroom deals, bribes, schemes and illicit doings that he can’t bother with being subtle anymore. I guess he figures Americans are either too stupid to get it or just aren’t paying attention. We’re broke as a nation – utterly bankrupt. Yet, McConnell is for more and more taxation and deficit spending. He doesn’t care what the fallout is down the road… he’s in it for the here and now and how much power, control and wealth he can amass personally. Constitution and America be damned. There is no difference between what Mitch McConnell does and what the Marxist Democrats do – none.
In the end, this also benefits not only McConnell, but Obama’s minions, Wall Street and the Chamber of Commerce. Cruz has criticized politicians on both sides of the aisle for this type of complicity and corruption. He has stood for principle and the Constitution unfailingly. McConnell despises him for it as do his cronies.
Ted Cruz defended himself in a special session against charges that he broke Rule 19 of the Senate rules by calling Mitch McConnell a liar concerning what he had promised him personally. Cruz says there is nothing wrong with telling the truth on the floor. There certainly isn’t and it takes courage to do so. He went on to say, “I entirely agree” with Hatch’s call for civility. But says “speaking the truth” is “entirely consistent with civility.” I couldn’t agree more.
Ted Cruz has set his sights on the Washington Cartel. He means to take them down with his band of conservatives. I believe Reagan would approve and this is a fight that must happen. It’s what I have been waiting for and I roundly applaud Cruz for leading the fight in the Congress and Trump for taking on the media and rallying the grassroots. This is a brilliant divide and conquer technique playing out. I don’t know who will be president in the end, but I can tell you this… when the dust settles, the GOP will never be the same. And I suspect standing in the midst of victory will be a man of honor – Ted Cruz.