Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 30, 2015

Posts in "Ted Cruz"

July 28, 2015

With Votes to Advance, Inhofe Makes Highway Bill Sales Pitch to House

Inhofe plans to force votes to block EPA regulations. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Inhofe is arguing that the Senate highway bill is a more conservative policy. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

 

With a series of obstacles being cleared late Monday, the Senate’s on the road to passing a long-term highway bill, and one of the chamber’s most conservative members is trying to make the case that his product will be more conservative than the House’s stopgap approach.

Following the 62-32 vote to invoke cloture and thus limit debate on a highway bill substitute amendment that was the product of bipartisan negotiations led in the end by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and ranking Democrat Barbara Boxer of California, Environment and Public Works Chairman James M. Inhofe urged House Republicans to take up the Senate’s bill.

“They know what the bill is, they’ve had it in front of them for two months,” the Oklahoma Republican said. “When they see the bill and they see how much money it’s going to cost if they don’t pass it, then I think [House Republicans will realize] that the conservative position is to pass a long-term bill.”

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July 27, 2015

Campaigning on the Floor Not Going Away Anytime Soon

Paul reacts to a question about Cruz as he arrives for a rare Sunday session in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Paul reacts to a question about Cruz as he arrives for a rare Sunday session in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

If the Senate’s old guard has its way, the campaigning from the Senate floor would end. But don’t bet on it.

“We must ensure that the pernicious trend of turning the Senate floor into a forum for advancing personal ambitions, for promoting political campaigns, or for enhancing fundraising activities comes to a stop,” Sen. Orrin G. Hatch said Sunday. “There are enough other platforms for those seeking to accomplish those objectives; the Senate floor need not be one.”

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What Robert Byrd Thought of Calling Colleagues Liars

Byrd said that until 1995, he had never heard a senator accuse colleagues of lying on the floor. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Byrd said that until 1995, he had never heard a senator accuse colleagues of lying on the floor. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“The decorum in the Senate has deteriorated, and political partisanship has run rife, and when the American people see and hear such intellectual pemmican as was spewed forth on this floor last Friday, no wonder there is such a growing disrespect for Congress throughout the country.”

No, that wasn’t a statement in response to last week’s startling floor speech from Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., had lied about renewing the Export-Import Bank. But it did bring back memories of one of the most memorable speeches in Senate history, nearly 20 years ago, another time accusations of lawmaker lying flew in the chamber.

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July 26, 2015

Senate Votes to Revive Export-Import Bank, Keep Obamacare (Updated)

McConnell set up Sunday's victory for Ex-Im Bank supporters. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McConnell set up Sunday’s victory for Ex-Im Bank supporters. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:57 p.m. | In a pair of losses for conservatives, the Senate voted overwhelmingly Sunday to revive the Export-Import Bank while failing to overcome a filibuster of an attempt to repeal Obamacare — with more fireworks to come.

The rare Sunday votes set the stage for the Senate to send a long-term highway bill tied to the Ex-Im Bank to the House later this week, but not before facing other gambits by conservatives, including a procedural vote forced by Sen. Ted Cruz regarding the Iran deal and an effort to deploy a maneuver akin to the “nuclear option.” Full story

Despite Rebukes, Ted Cruz Doubles Down on Charge McConnell Lied (Updated)

McConnell defended his decision to set up a vote on the Ex-Im Bank two days after Ted Cruz called him a liar. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McConnell defended his decision to set up a vote on the Ex-Im Bank two days after Cruz called him a liar. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:05 p.m. | The Senate opened Sunday with a reading by the Senate President Pro Tem Orrin G. Hatch of the Senate’s rules of decorum, in an apparent rebuke of Sen. Ted Cruz calling Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a liar on Friday. And things got more personal from there.

Shortly thereafter, McConnell defended his actions setting up a vote to revive the Export-Import Bank, even though he opposes it — and other top Republicans rebuked Cruz on the floor even as the Texas Republican defended his comments in an extraordinary speech of his own.

The back and forth between Hatch, Cruz and Cruz’s senior Texas colleague, Majority Whip John Cornyn, made for an extraordinary sequence. Full story

Cruz Calling McConnell a Liar Likely to Linger

Cruz spoke against the Ex-Im Bank on July 15. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cruz spoke against the Export-Import Bank on July 15. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When Rush Limbaugh asked Sen. Ted Cruz what blowback he expected from accusing Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., of lying about reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, the Texas Republican said he was gearing up for more fights.

“Teeth are bared, the knives are out and the cartel is coming after me,” Cruz said in the radio interview Friday, as he was on the way to catch a flight.

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July 23, 2015

Senate Taking Scenic Route on Highway Bill (Updated)

highway bill

Senators confer before a July 9 news conference. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

UPDATED 7:17 p.m. |Senate negotiators on a long-term highway bill worked out some issues in a new version unveiled Thursday afternoon, but lawmakers appeared on track for weekend work, including potential Sunday votes.

A shortfall in transit funding in the original agreement led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Environment and Public Works ranking member Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., put the deal at risk early, though 62 senators ultimately voted Wednesday to limit debate on advancing to the vehicle for the bill.

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Ted Cruz on Lindsey Graham-Donald Trump Feud: ‘Who Cares?’ (Audio)

Ted Cruz has a lot of “friends.”

The Texas firebrand known for throwing Republican leadership under the bus on a regular basis dismissed the feud between Lindsey Graham and Donald Trump in a scrum with reporters Wednesday. That feud, of course, includes Graham’s charge of Trump being a “jackass” and Trump’s retaliation of giving out the phone number for Graham’s old-fashioned flip-phone.

“Who cares?” Cruz said. “Let’s focus on the issues that matter for the American people.”

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By Nicole Puglise Posted at 11:38 a.m.
2016, Ted Cruz

July 15, 2015

Cruz, Lee Promise Highway Bill Traffic Jam Over Ex-Im Bank

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cruz and Lee are ready to gum up the works. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If senators want to revive the Export-Import Bank as part of the upcoming highway bill debate, they’re going to have to do it the hard way.

That was one key takeaway from GOP Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah at a news conference with other conservative lawmakers and members of outside groups that oppose the government-credit agency.

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June 29, 2015

In Washington, Ted Cruz’s ‘Truth’ Will Make Him More Enemies

A new book by Ted Cruz slams a number of his colleagues in what he calls the "Washington cartel." (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A new book by Cruz — “A Time For Truth” — slams a number of his colleagues in what he calls the “Washington cartel.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

When their presidential bids failed, senators as liberal as Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and as conservative as Barry Goldwater of Arizona returned to Capitol Hill and had productive — if not legendary — careers.

But Sen. Ted Cruz’s new book is the latest indication he has no plan to be a member of such a club if his run for the White House doesn’t go as planned. He is running against what he’s taken to calling a “Washington cartel.”

As to be expected from a senator who has openly sought to undermine GOP leadership, “A Time for Truth” does not pull punches, leading off with anecdotes about one of the more bizarre sequences of events in recent Senate history: the day the clerk’s microphone was turned off for a crucial vote on raising the debt limit.

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June 23, 2015

Cruz: Kill Ex-Im Before Voting for Trade Promotion Authority

Ted Cruz announced his bid for president at Liberty University. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Cruz has imposed new conditions on voting for the trade legislation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The effort to get “fast-track” trade authority for President Barack Obama has lost the support of one of the Republicans who could benefit from the powers if he became president in 2017.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said Tuesday the process by which the Trade Promotion Authority measure advanced through the House meant he could not support it without new assurances about winding down the authorization for the Export-Import Bank, claiming Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, must have made some kind of backroom deal with Democrats about the bank.

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June 18, 2015

Ted Cruz Vs. Ted Cruz on Obamacare Extensions

Cruz was for a six-month transition from Obamacare before he was against it. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cruz was for a six-month transition from Obamacare before he was against it. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Ted Cruz has never shied from his displeasure for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

The Texas Republican’s opposition may have been most famously embodied in his extremely long speech in 2013, which, along with his lobbying efforts to get Congress to defund the law, set the stage for the 16-day government shutdown.

But Cruz’s recent positions seem to conflict with a stance he took just a few months ago.

With the Supreme Court expected to offer a ruling in King v. Burwell that threatens subsidies for approximately 6.4 million people throughout the 34 states with federally run health care exchanges, Cruz, according to the Wall Street Journal and others, have been opposed to proposals giving a six-month or longer sunset period for those who would lose the subsidies.

But in February, Cruz introduced the ObamaCare Repeal bill, which would have provided a six-month transition period as well.

According to Cruz’s office, the two ideas — total repeal and elimination of the subsidies — are completely different. A total repeal would require a six-month period for the entire country to adjust, while an aide suggested subsidies wouldn’t need to be extended if states were allowed to opt out of Obamacare, which Cruz has also suggested.

While millions of people could lose their subsidies depending on how the Supreme Court decides, Cruz believes everyone’s health care situation will improve if the law goes away, according to a Cruz aide.

One of the sponsors of a subsidy-extension bill, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., on Wednesday floated the idea to reporters of something like a two-year extension of the “somewhat status quo,” which would give the families of those affected by the law time to adjust and would also create a mandate election in 2016.

“Give the American people a chance to be involved in deciding what direction our health care system will take after the 2016 elections,” said Johnson, who faces perhaps the most difficult re-election of any Senate Republican.

“Now [that] they’ve actually seen the results of Obamacare, now’s the time to have that mandate election,” he said.

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., has also suggested using the money left over from King v. Burwell fallout to fund a Republican replacement plan.

Niels Lesniewski contributed to this report.
 
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June 15, 2015

McCain Eager to Finish Defense Bill, but Amendment Landmines Remain

National Defense Authorization Act

McCain hopes to complete work on the defense bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The defense policy bill could get off the Senate floor this week the easy way — or the hard way.

Senators will enter their third partial week of floor debate on the National Defense Authorization Act when they return Monday, with a key vote to limit debate on the measure occurring Tuesday morning unless there is an agreement to change the schedule.

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June 9, 2015

Amanda Carpenter Leaving Ted Cruz World

Amanda Carpenter Ted Cruz

Carpenter’s last day with Cruz will be July 5. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One of the most high-profile communicators on Capitol Hill — and in social media —  is leaving to go back to writing under her own name.

Amanda Carpenter, who has been the communications director for Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in his Senate office since October, announced Tuesday in a message to colleagues that with her boss’s presidential campaign team running full-speed ahead, she plans to return to conservative commentary.

Full story

By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 3:35 p.m.
2016, Ted Cruz

May 27, 2015

Cruz Threatens to Subpoena Treasury Officials to Testify About Obamacare Rules

Cruz wants to keep the filibuster, even though it makes it harder to repeal Obamacare. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Ted Cruz is warning he might seek to compel testimony from the Treasury Department about the Affordable Care Act.

The Texas Republican presidential candidate, who has the gavel of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts, said his staff had been informed by the Obama administration that witnesses would not be available to testify about the rule-making process for providing subsidies under Obamacare because of ongoing litigation.

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