The overriding theme: The people sent a message a month ago. What the hell are we doing?
Senator Mike Lee of Utah said sadly, “we don’t have the luxury of blaming this latest failure on the outgoing Senate majority. No. This one’s on us. Americans just last month thought they went to the polls and voted for change to stop this kind of thing. Unread, 1000+ page bills filled written in secret, filled with hidden favors for special interests, while funding the lawlessness of an out-of-control president. Americans looking for that change won’t find it in this bill. Rather, they’ll find what the discarded revolutionaries of Animal Farm found at the end of George Orwell’s classic. The creatures outside looked from pig to man and from man to pig and from pig to man again, but already it was too hard to tell which was which.”
Cruz: “the dispute over executive amnesty is not between the President Obama and Republicans in Congress. It is a dispute between President Obama and the American people. In this last election, President Obama said something that was absolutely correct. He said he policies were on the ballot all across this country. The president was right. This election was a referendum on amnesty. The people have spoken loudly.”
MORE via RollCall:
Things publicly fell apart after, in the intertwined debate on the $1.1 trillion spending bill and other end-of-session business, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, sought to raise a constitutional point of order to knock down the language providing stopgap funding for the Homeland Security Department. That was the one of the 12 annual spending bills left by the wayside in the “cromnibus” package.
The procedural situation wasn’t right for offering such a motion, and Cruz told CQ Roll Call he would try again on Sunday, using a method that’s designed to have a simple majority vote threshold that Cruz says could succeed if Democrats “vote their conscience.”
Unless senators agree to allow a short-term spending bill to pass by unanimous consent, the government would shutdown after midnight Saturday night.
Cruz was joined by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who blocked a request by Reid to vote Monday at 5 p.m. on the cromnibus funding the government, after Reid refused to allow a vote on an amendment defunding Obama’s temporary executive amnesty. After commotion on the floor, Reid announced that the Senate will convene at noon Saturday, with votes throughout the day and maybe into Sunday morning.
“It’s inconvenient for a lot of people, but I’m sorry, that’s … we’re the Senate and we have to rearrange our schedules for the weekend,” Reid said.
In a floor speech, Cruz said conservatives should “trust but verify” their own leaders when it comes to responding to Obama on immigration.
In a speech that had something for every variety of critic of the more than $1 trillion fiscal 2015 spending package, Cruz criticized a variety of provisions, including one favorable to Blue Cross Blue Shield. He made use of the metaphor of the “Peanuts” character Lucy in pulling the football away from poor Charlie Brown. In this case, he was criticizing Republican leadership for promises delayed.
“I take them at their word,” the conservative firebrand said in his floor speech. “But I would note that a whole lot of citizens across this country feel a little bit like Charlie Brown with Lucy and the football, when fight after fight, leadership in Congress says we’ll fight next time. Not this time … the wise thing to do is to fight in a month, fight in two months, fight in three months. Not now.”
“There comes a point where Charlie Brown has kicked the football and fallen on his rear end one two many times,” Cruz said. “So, when our leaders in both chambers say as a commitment we will fight and we will stop President Obama’s illegal amnesty, I take them at their word. But, I am confident the American people will hold them to their word.”
Via The Right Scoop:
Ted Cruz took to Facebook to explain his actions:
While the Senate considers the CRomnibus spending bill, all we’ve done was simply request to hold a vote on a measure to stop President Obama’s amnesty. Instead, Majority Leader Harry Reid is holding a series of votes today for the sheer purpose of blocking that vote on Obama’s amnesty.
Harry Reid’s last act as Majority Leader is to, once again, act as an enabler for President Obama, by blocking this vote on the President’s amnesty. He is going to an embarrassing length to tie up the floor to obstruct debate and a vote on this issue because he knows amnesty is unpopular with the American people, and he doesn’t want the Democrats on the record as supporting it.
No one wants a government shutdown. We are only seeking a vote. As soon as the Majority Leader allows a vote on a measure to stop President Obama’s amnesty, we can and should move forward on this bill to fund the government. If he does not, then we will continue to insist upon regular order and use every tool at our disposal to ensure there is a vote.