Politico | By Burgess Everett
Ted Cruz can’t even get a protest vote in the Senate anymore.
On Monday night, Cruz’s colleagues ignored his attempt to disrupt Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s efforts to fund the government without attacking Planned Parenthood. In an unusual rebuke, even fellow Republicans denied him a “sufficient second” that would have allowed him a roll call vote.
Then, his Republican colleagues loudly bellowed “no” when Cruz sought a voice vote, a second repudiation that showed how little support Cruz has: Just one other GOP senator — Utah’s Mike Lee — joined with Cruz as he was overruled by McConnell and his deputies.
It was the second time that Cruz had been denied a procedural courtesy that’s routinely granted to senators in both parties. The first came after he called McConnell a liar this summer.
Cruz was incredulous on Monday, calling it an “unprecedented procedural trick.”
“What does denying a second mean? Denying a recorded vote. Why is that important?” Cruz said. “When you are breaking the commitment you’ve made to the men and women who elected you, the most painful thing in the world is accountability.”
Indeed, denying Cruz a vote prevents the Texas senator from dredging up the roll call in the future and using it to attack his colleagues.
Cruz said he would again try to force a vote on Tuesday when the Senate votes to pass a spending bill that does not defund Planned Parenthood. In an unusual request meant to draw attention to his ongoing battle with Republican leadership, the Texas senator implored voters to tune in and see where their senators stand on Tuesday when he again requests a “sufficient second.”
“One of the ways you avoid accountability is you somehow are somewhere else doing something really, really important instead of actually showing up to the battle,” Cruz said, accusing Republicans of joining with Democrats to “roll over any parliamentary trick you might use.”
Cruz’s speech was filled with familiar accusations that Republican leaders were capitulating, even as he praised Democrats for being more resolute than the GOP. But Cruz also personally lambasted McConnell and his deputies for denying a roll call vote that would have failed anyway, arguing that results are rigged in the Senate and that conservatives have no influence anymore.
“There are no mystical powers that allow you to roll over that. But in the House we still got 30, 40, 50 strong conservatives,” Cruz said.
In reality, it’s not Senate procedure that stymied Cruz on Monday night. Republicans have grown tired of Cruz pushing proposals that he knows McConnell and other Republicans will never back, like defunding Planned Parenthood in a spending bill, then criticizing McConnell for not taking up the plan even as he uses the fight to bolster his presidential campaign as Washington’s consummate outsider.
Cruz’s internal criticism of his leadership is what animates his presidential campaign, but his colleagues appear to be no longer listening. Cruz was allowed only to speak for an hour on Monday night under Senate rules, and no one was itching to grant him an exception.
“The Democrats are objecting to my speaking further. And both the Democrats and Republican leadership are objecting to the American people speaking further. I yield the floor,” Cruz said quietly.
- Why Mitch McConnell Won’t Fight Planned Parenthood (americanclarion.com)
- Mitch McConnell Has Funded the Abortion Industry For Years (senateconservatives.com)
- Democrats poised to filibuster stopgap funding measure (pottsmerc.com)
- Senate Democrats block anti-abortion bill, setting up showdown on government shutdown, Planned Parenthood funding (japantimes.co.jp)
- WASHINGTON: ‘ Senate moves to prevent shut-down by moving planned parenthood funding to community centres ‘ (acenewsservices.wordpress.com)