When you take a stand on principle in the unprincipled world of Washington, D.C., you’re sure to upset a lot of people, as U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz found out Saturday when he forced a vote on the constitutionality of President Obama’s overreaching executive order on immigration.
In a move that pitted Cruz in a head-to-head matchup with outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, the Texas senator prevailed in getting a point-of-order vote on whether Obama’s action was constitutional, before the Senate passed a massive $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill.
Cruz would lose that vote overwhelmingly — 22 to 74 — with a majority of his fellow Republicans voting against it. But he made a point conservatives are going to remember.
“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.”
And even though he succeeded in forcing the vote, Cruz made it clear he was not looking to shut down the government.
“We are only seeking a vote,” he wrote. “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.”
The Senate was forced to work late into the night because of Cruz’s procedural move, and drew criticism from some Republicans.
Speaking from the Senate floor, Cruz questioned Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner in their efforts to oppose Obama on immigration, saying despite the results of last month’s election, “business as usual is continuing inside the marble halls of the United State Congress,” The Hill reported.
“I would note that a whole lot of citizens across the country feel a little bit like Charlie Brown with Lucy and the football, wherein fight after fight leadership in Congress says, we’ll fight next time — not this time, no, no, no,” he said. “The wise thing to do is to fight in a month, fight in two months,” he said from the floor.
A portion of his fiery floor speech can be seen here:
The lack of support from many of his Republican colleagues got plenty of focus on social media. Here is a sampling, as seen on Twitter:
Cruz: “The Constitution matters, and we must defend it.” Sadly, most Establishment Republicans don’t agree.
— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) December 14, 2014
Those who say they disagree with Cruz’s “tactics” never actually offer their own. It’s always we’ll do something…later. — Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) December 14, 2014
Just remember, we dont really have a Senate majority when Republicans will throw in with Dems on something this illegal and wrong — Daniel Horowitz (@RMConservative) December 14, 2014
The question tonight is this: do GOP elites hate @SenTedCruz more than they love the constitution?
— Daniel Horowitz (@RMConservative) December 14, 2014
I know you’re all shocked, but it turns out a lot of Republicans– in the Senate and not– aren’t super in love with Ted Cruz. News flash!
— Liz Mair (@LizMair) December 14, 2014
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