While former President Bill Clinton made cigars a political risk, Sen. Ted Cruz used a stogie as a prop in voicing his outrage over the 2,313-page omnibus spending bill put together in “the dark of the night.”
The spending deal cut by Senate Republican leaders and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., passed Thursday in the Senate on a 71-23 vote. Before the vote, Cruz tweeted a video of himself standing in front of his desk, which contained a stack of papers that the Republican lawmaker said was the spending bill.
Lighting a cigar for effect, the senator said, “Christmas came early in Washington… for lobbyists. Lobbyists who are bankrupting this country.”
“While you were with your family, while you were shopping for Christmas, the lobbyists were spending and spending. I present to you, the massive omnibus bill that Congress is voting on,” Cruz said, as he motioned to the stack of papers.
Ted Cruz explains the massive trillion dollar spending bill that both parties snuck past you pic.twitter.com/FJVo4N30pL
— An0maly (@LegendaryEnergy) December 20, 2019
“No one has read it,” he added. “There isn’t a person alive who has read this piece of garbage.”
The remark calls to mind the tea party movement — Cruz was elected to the Senate at the height of the massive grassroots movement prompted first by the out-of-control spending of President George W. Bush and his $700 billion TARP government bailout, and then by former President Barack Obama and his $800 billion economic stimulus package.
Before the left and their media allies intervened and falsely painted the tea party as a racist movement, activists pushed for limited government and fiscal responsibility.
The national debt, which stood at $10.6 trillion on Obama’s first day in office, Jan. 20, 2009, was front-page news because of the tea party. Ten years later, the national debt stands at $23.1 trillion and is rarely spoken of.
Cruz shared a few details of what was in the bill that sailed through both houses of Congress as the nation was caught up in the impeachment spectacle.
“Here’s one thing,” he explained. “It extends the EX-IM bank — one of the greatest corporate boondoggles, corporate welfare. The lobbyists love it. For seven years, the EX-IM bank is extended. There was no vote on it.”
“Buried in here, it raises the tobacco purchasing age to 21,” Cruz continued. “So now, our soldiers, at age 18, you can be drafted to go into war, you can be sent to the front lines, you can face machine-gun fire. But God help you if you want to have a smoke.”
He offered a pun about deals being made in smoke-filled rooms behind the backs of Americans, before naming other troubling aspects of the omnibus deal.
“It funds government research on gun control,” Cruz pointed out. “Mind you, last I checked, exercising your Second Amendment rights is not a virus that the Center for Disease Control should be studying, but now, we’ve got millions of dollars funding bogus studies that are going to be used to try and take away your constitutional rights.”
The GOP lawmaker goes on to note that Planned Parenthood will keep being funded by the federal government, as will Obamacare.
But the legislation does not fully fund the border wall. After pointing out that Trump asked for $8.6 billion, Cruz stated the president gets $1.4 billion, which “doesn’t come close to fully funding the wall.”
“This is why Washington’s corrupt. This is an example of government of the lobbyist, by the lobbyist and for the lobbyist,” Cruz said.
“This pile of trash belongs in an ashtray,” he concluded, before crushing his now unlit cigar into the bill.
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