In a gloves-off, 24-plus-minute floor speech Friday, Sen. Ted Cruz accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of lying to him about an agreement with Democrats — and accused McConnell of being no different from Democrat former Majority Leader Harry Reid.
“Today is a sad day for this institution. What we just witnessed this morning is profoundly disappointing,” the Texas Republican began.
Cruz, who is running for president, claimed that McConnell broke his promise to him and other GOP senators by making a deal with a handful of Democratic senators who sought to reauthorize the controversial Import-Export Bank in exchange to advance a trade package in May.
“The majority leader was visibly angry with me that I would ask him such a question,” Cruz said. “The majority looked at me and said ‘there is no deal, there is no deal, there is no deal.'”
Cruz indicated that although his staff told him at the time that McConnell “is lying to you,” he continued to take the Kentucky Republican at his word.
“What I told my staff that afternoon, I said, well I don’t know if that’s the case or not. But I don’t see how when the majority leader looks me in the eyes and makes an explicit promise,” he added. “I don’t see how I cannot take him at his word.”
Cruz told the chamber that McConnell’s decision to allow the Export-Import vote shows that he does not always mean what he says.
“Well, we now know that when the majority leader looks us in the eyes and makes an explicit commitment that he is willing to say things that he knows are false,” the Texas firebrand said.
“That has consequences for how this body operates,” he said. “If you or I cannot trust what the majority leader tells us, that will have consequences on other legislation, as well as on how this institution operates.”
Cruz noted that little had changed in the six months since the GOP became the majority party in the Senate.
“We’ve had a Republican majority in both houses of Congresses now for about six months. What has that majority done?
“First thing we did, in December, we passed a $1 trillion cromnibus plan filled with pork and corporate welfare. Then, this Republican majority voted to fund Obamacare, voted to fund President Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty. And then the leadership rammed through the confirmation of Loretta Lynch as attorney general,” Cruz said.
“Madam President, which of those decisions would be one iota different if Harry Reid were still majority leader? Not a one. Not a one.”
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