Senator Ted Cruz appeared to be channeling both President Reagan and Andrew Breitbart on the Senate floor Friday. He strongly called out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for outright lying to Republicans and accused him of siding with Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid regarding the export-import amendment.
In perhaps his strongest message yet, Sen. Cruz accused McConnell and Reid of everything from corruption to cronyism. In turn, Senator Reid rewarded McConnell for his loyalty with this tweet:
I commend @SenateMajLdr for setting up a vote to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. This bill is critically important for U.S. businesses.
— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) July 24, 2015
Cruz said McConnell and Reid were taking money from citizens’ paychecks to fund giant corporations. “It is wrong and it is corrupt.”
“I sat in my office and I told my staff the Majority Leader looked me in the eye and looked 54 Republicans in the eye, I didn’t 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.
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 again was a simple lie. This institution should not operate at the beck and call of lobbyists in Washington. This institution, the majority and Minority leader arm in arm–again–should not team up against the American taxpayers. It’s why our children are going bankrupt.”
Sen. Cruz then spoke of the “enormous threat” America is facing with the Iran deal:
“A nuclear Iran poses the greatest national security threat to this country and yet the Majority Leader refused to do what he just did for the export-import bank on Iran. Refused to invoke cloture. That was an extraordinary step…If he was telling the truth that there was no deal why would he do what he just did?
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 is false. That has consequences for how this body operates. If you or I cannot trust what the Majority Leader tells us that will have consequences on other legislation as well, on how this institution operates.”
Cruz mentioned other amendments the American people are concerned about, including Planned Parenthood which McConnell refused to vote on. What McConnell did want to vote on was his own Obamacare amendment, which Cruz said is a “smokescreen because it’s intended to fail” yet McConnell refused to bring up Cruz’s amendment to end the congressional exemption from Obamacare.
“We ought to live under the same rules as everyone else,” Cruz said. “The Majority Leader doesn’t want to vote on that because he doesn’t want to end the cronyism for members of Congress any more than end the cronyism for giant corporations who enrich themselves at the expense of the American people.”
“Sadly today we have a government of the lobbyists, by the lobbyists, and for the lobbyists. That is not how the United States Senate is supposed to operate.”
Cruz then spoke of his amendment to the Iran deal:
“A far more important amendment than brining back this corporate welfare and cronyism is my amendment that provides that sanctions on Iran cannot be lifted unless and until Iran does two things. Number one, it recognizes Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and number two it releases the four American hostages languishing in Iranian prisons. That is a far more important issue than enriching some more lobbyists on K-Street and getting a few more campaign contributions. That’s what we should be voting on.”
Sen. Cruz has created a new hashtag on Twitter: #WashingtonCartel.