WASHINGTON – Just days after publicly calling the majority leader a liar on the Senate floor, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has upped the stakes in his war on GOP brass by accusing Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., of spearheading the effort to keep taxpayer funds going to Planned Parenthood.
In a statement that mentioned “gruesome videos of senior officials of Planned Parenthood discussing the selling of body parts of unborn children,” Cruz blasted McConnell for blocking an amendment by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, to defund the abortion provider.
“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,” charged Cruz.
On Friday, when he accused McConnell of lying to his face about making a secret deal with Democrats, Cruz had said that was because McConnell had no interest in championing a conservative agenda.
Cruz also said McConnell has led the Senate just as Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., would have, because they both do the bidding of big business and donors rather than serve the will of the people.
“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,” observed Cruz on Monday.
He added, “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 was relentless, continuing, “[T]o 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.”
Lee’s amendment would have been attached to the Highway Bill, which leaders in both parties consider crucial to pass.
McConnell simply called the amendment “out of order” because it was not relevant to the Highway Bill.
Critics said that was the height of hypocrisy, because McConnell had allowed an amendment to the bill that would permit a vote to re-authorize taxpayer funding of the Export-Import Bank, which has nothing to do with the nation’s highways.
Additionally, conservatives consider the taxpayer funding of the bank an unnecessary and wasteful contribution to such big businesses as Walmart and Boeing to expand their businesses overseas.
In the end, Lee was unable to rally the support of a mere 10 Republican senators needed for the chamber to consider his amendment to defund Planned Parenthood.
Cruz also scorched McConnell for leading the fight to defeat the Texan’s own amendment to modify President Obama’s nuclear arms deal with Iran.
“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.”
McConnell had apparently instructed GOP senators to not let Cruz’s amendment even get a vote.
But Cruz, perhaps diplomatically, portrayed that as a matter of policy differences, not an example of revenge, saying, “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.”
Cruz also said the incident illustrated de facto one-party rule in the nation’s capital by what he calls the “Washington cartel.”
“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.”
Cruz reiterated his previous contention that McConnell had followed the same agenda Reid would have as majority leader, had Democrats retained control of the Senate in the November elections.
The senator said that included:
- Passing a trillion-dollar “cromnibus” bill “filled with corporate welfare and pork.”
- Voting to fund Obamacare.
- Voting to fund President Obama’s executive amnesty.
- Confirming Loretta Lynch as attorney general.
- Voting to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, “an egregious example of cronyism and corporate welfare.”
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