Sunday in a special session against charges that he broke rule 19 of the Senate rules by calling Mitch McConnell a liar about what he promised to him personally, the Boston Herald reports Senior Senate Republicans lined up to rebuke Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz for harshly criticizing Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Meeting for a rare Sunday session, Sens. Orrin Hatch of Utah, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and John Cornyn of Texas each rose to counter Cruz’ amazing floor speech on Friday that accused McConnell, R-Ky., of lying. The Herald describes the display of intraparty division played out live on the Senate floor as extraordinary.
Although Cruz was not mentioned by name, the target of the remarks could not have been clearer. The Senate, defeating a procedural vote to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law and took a step toward reviving the federal Export-Import Bank, both amendments on a must-pass highway bill is what brought on the drama.
Hatch, the Senate’s president pro tempore stated, “Squabbling and sanctimony may be tolerated in other venues and perhaps on the campaign trail, but they have no place among colleagues in the United States Senate.” He added, “The Senate floor has even become a place where senators have singled out colleagues by name to attack them in personal terms, to impugn their character, in blatant disregard for Senate rules.” Hatch also pointed out that such misuses of the Senate floor must not be tolerated.
Ted Cruz then gave them a lecture on the rules, with a lot of “decorum.” According to the Texas Tribune, Cruz defended his actions on the floor. “No member of this body should engage in ad hominem attacks directed at any member of this body, be they a Republican or be they a Democrat,” Cruz said.
“At the same time, 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,” he added. “Speaking the truth about actions is entirely consistent with civility.”
Immediately after Cruz, U.S. Senate majority whip John Cornyn took the floor. As expected Cornyn backed McConnell’s procedural maneuvers that stifled a Cruz amendment on Iran. And Cornyn questioned the legitimacy of Cruz’s charges against McConnell. “I have listened to the comments of my colleague, the junior senator from Texas, both last week and this week, and I would have to say that he is mistaken,” Cornyn said.
It is no secret that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has never been a favorite of conservatives. He is described as “squishy” and a compromiser more interested in placating the president and “K Street” lobbyists than the Republican base. While on one hand McConnell has previously said he supports defunding Planned Parenthood, which was recently the subject of undercover sting videos in which executives with the organization can be heard discussing the sale of organs from aborted babies, on the other he blocked an amendment to the Highway Bill that would have defunded the organization, reports the Daily Caller.
Using a tactic called “filling the tree,” made popular by Harry Reid when he was majority leader to block Republicans from being able to offer amendments to Democratic bills, McConnell is now “filling the tree” generally with small, insignificant measures favored by the majority leader and crowding out everyone else. Friday Cruz blasted McConnell’s move. “There are a host of amendments that the American people are focused on, things like defunding Planned Parenthood after the gruesome video,” Cruz said. “The majority leader doesn’t want to vote on that. That’s actually something the American people are focused on.”
Although it has been suggested, Cruz has no intention of apologizing or backing down. Nor should he. Political correctness has such a grip on this country that truth causes one to choke unless it is sugar-coated. Cruz has always been a fighter not only for the truth, but for America, her people and the Constitution. It matters not whether he has a large following of supporters, or if he’s standing alone. It is often said that Donald Trump has so much money he can’t be bought. Well, money or not, it should be noted that Cruz won’t be bought.