Sen. Ted Cruz unleashed a blistering rebuke of Democrats for blocking the coronavirus spending bill while Americans continue to die from the illness.
The Texas Republican ripped Democrats Monday over their vote to block the stimulus bill and for using the global pandemic to try to push their unrelated policies through Congress as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced her own emergency 1,400-page bailout bill.
“The famed quote from Rahm Emanuel, that’s President Obama’s chief of staff: ‘Never let a good crisis go to waste.’ Sadly, we’re seeing the embodiment of that cynical approach right now,” Cruz said in his impassioned speech on the Senate floor.
“Because with all the people out of jobs, the Democrats are using this to push — what are they pushing for? Changing the emissions standards on airplanes,” he added. “What the hell do the emissions standards on airplanes have to do with thousands to people dying and millions of people out of work in the coronavirus epidemic?”
Exactly!! Wtf???? pic.twitter.com/BLrCNzBPIp
— nicetomeetya (@rachelsirotic) March 23, 2020
The lawmaker, who ended his self-imposed quarantine last week, blasted his Democratic colleagues for using the coronavirus relief package like a “partisan Christmas.”
“And you know, Republicans, we got things we’d like to advance too. Things I believe in deeply. Know what I’d like to do? I’d like to abolish the IRS,” Cruz said, adding but “I’m not standing here with an amendment saying, ‘As part of this emergency relief, let’s abolish the IRS.'”
Cruz argued that there is a “time and place” for the partisan debate on other issues and agendas but not in the middle of a health crisis that is affecting Americans.
“The Democrats are pushing wind and solar tax credits. Mr. President, what in the hell does a windmill have to do with this crisis?” Cruz asked. “Other than there are some Democratic lobbyists getting fat and rich and they’re willing to extort a crisis to advance their political agenda.”
The Texas senator referred to a proposal being pushed by Democrats to require “diversity” on corporations’ board of directors as “social engineering.”
“Mr. President, what in the hell does that have to do with this crisis?” Cruz demanded on the Senate floor, going on to note that the “Pelosi wishlist” includes a plan to restructure the debt of the United States Postal Service.
“Mr. President, last I checked – look, our postal workers, they go through wind, rain and snow, but they haven’t been laid off,” Cruz said.
“I call upon both sides. Don’t play games with us. This crisis isn’t going to end tomorrow. This crisis isn’t going to end the next day. It’s going to last a considerable time,” he said. “It’s going to require adults to step up and lead.”
Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins also blasted Democrats for their delays.
“Never have I seen Republicans and Democrats fail to come together when confronted with a crisis,” she said on the Senate floor Monday.
“Unbelievably, the Democratic leader objected to my even being able to speak this morning? Is that what we’ve come to?
The Democratic leader objected to our convening at 9 o’clock this morning so that we can begin working in earnest?”
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) March 23, 2020
“I cannot believe that the answer to this crisis as we move to address the economic consequences that are so severe for the people of this country that the answer from our friends on the other side of the aisle is “delay, delay, delay.” No sense of urgency. No hurry,” she said in an angry rebuke of her colleagues.
When Susan Collins gets mad at Democrats that is an absolute sure sign that Democrats have over stepped
— AtlantaStu (@AtlantaStu) March 23, 2020
Cruz began his fiery speech by noting how “every single Democrat” had voted to block even discussing the stimulus bill, and slammed them for not even caring to be in the room to do their jobs.
“Last night when this Senate voted on whether to move forward with emergency relief legislation for the millions of people being devastated by economic disaster we’re seeing as a result of the coronavirus epidemic, every single Democrat in this body voted block consideration of this bill,” Cruz said.
“What does it mean to vote to block consideration? It doesn’t mean they voted against the bill. It means they voted against even starting to take it up,” Cruz said.
“Today, 102 Americans died while the Democrats blocked consideration of this bill,” he said at one point. “One Texan died while this chamber decided not to show up for work and do their job.”
Cruz even took a moment to blast the “utterly complicit” media, noting how The New York Times changed its headline about the Democrats’ actions three times.
“The New York Times headline moments afterwards [the stimulus bill vote last night] read ‘Democrats block $1.7 trillion stimulus bill.’ Of course, that headline had the fault of being accurate, so within minutes, the New York Times changed it ‘Democrats block $1.7 trillion stimulus bill, citing worker concerns,’” Cruz said. Eventually the headline became, “Partisan Divide Threatens Deal on Rescue Bill.”