Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 29, 2014

Cruz, Lee Are No-Shows at Important GOP Lunch

Updated 4:00 p.m.: Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah did not attend Tuesday’s party luncheon where a number of ideas to avert default were discussed, according to a senator present at the meeting.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. — who has referred to the tea party conservatives as “wacko birds” and has repeatedly called their plan to link defunding of Obamacare to the government shutdown a “fool’s errand” — outed the two no-shows.

Cruz and Lee pose two of the most serious threats (outside of maybe the entire House GOP caucus) to getting a debt limit deal before Treasury’s Thursday deadline because they could block any unanimous consent request to cede procedural time. At this point, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada has not yet filed cloture on the framework he discussed with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and the leaders would need such a time agreement to expedite the procedural process for the bill.

CQ Roll Call asked Lee on Monday whether he would be able to make a decision on whether he would block a consent agreement after attending Tuesday’s lunch and hearing McConnell explain the contours of the plan. At the time, Lee said “perhaps.”

On Monday night, Cruz gathered with House conservatives at a popular Hill restaurant to strategize their plan going forward. It wasn’t immediately clear where he was dining for lunch.

Neither Cruz nor Lee’s office responded immediately for comment.

Update 4:00 p.m.

Cruz spokesman Sean Rushton said in an email: “He had a previous commitment that went long. He was planning to go to the caucus meeting but that was canceled last minute and he didn’t make lunch. Sen. Cruz has made clear that there is no reason we should default on the debt and he will continue working to seek meaningful relief from Obamacare for all Americans.”

  • Bob Viering

    One has to ask: “What are Sens. Lee and Cruz really trying to accomplish?” What is their goal? Do they actually care about America? Sadly, these two are the embodiment of all that is wrong with Washington.

    • Pamela Volentine

      easy. their goal is to make government so small they can drown it in a bathtub (thanks for that quote, grover norquist, you asshat). they love the shutdown. they want to reopen only the parts of government that they like. screw everyone and everything else.

    • mitchdupre

      So Cruz and Lee are whats wrong with Washington, as opposed to…..?? The other politicians who keep piling on debt, take party line votes, little to no real debate on our financial decline, and just keep kicking the can down the road? Is THAT whats right with Washington? I expect you to say, “no, that’s whats wrong with Washington too”.
      So if that’s wrong as well, and Cruz and Lee fighting to do whatever they can to stop the fiscal bleeding and avert the hot knife of Obamacare, then what exactly do YOU suggest be done, Bob Viering? Its easy to sit back and call names without addressing the substance. But what would be your winning strategy?

      • Bob Viering

        Fair question. My objection to Sens. Cruz and Lee is that they make no attempt to actually legislate. They are bomb throwers with no remotely achievable agenda. What we need is for legislators to actually find solutions to issues. Healthcare is a good example. As a person running a small business I saw year after year double digit increases in health insurance costs with no end in sight. Democrats, Republicans, everyone was unhappy. The problem now became that Republicans said their goal was to get rid of Obama and refused to be a part of any debate. No matter what the question the answer from Republicans was no. At that point they had every opportunity to be part of the solution but, instead opted to play politics. Today, many Republicans complain that the ACA was passed with no Republican votes and therefore it is bad. The ironic part is that parts of the ACA came from Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts plan and the individual mandate from the Heritage Foundation. If you put your partisan glasses down, the ACA was a pretty center plan that should have had at least some Republican support.

        Next, we need to actually have Congressional districts that are “compact and contiguous”. We need more competitive districts. Districts where the boundaries are drawn in such a way to almost guaranty one party control allows its representative to basically ignore the voters and follow partisan groups.

        So, that’s my solution: less rhetoric and more legislating, competitive districts.

        Now, I’m interested in hearing your solution.

        • vicki

          ACA: Not only from Mitt Romney. The mandatory purchase was an idea from the Heritage Foundation. This is an ultra conservative, take personal responsibility mandate. Ironically it is the one the GOP has chosen to fight the loudest. Says a lot about their commitment to anything other than hurting Obama.

        • mitchdupre

          The thing I don’t understand, is how people who are fed up with politics as usual, can be critical of what Ted Cruz is doing. Even those who may not be Republican have to look at what Obama is doing by ignoring Congress and unilaterally affecting written law, as not only troublesome, but very dangerous.
          But lets back up for a minute and look at things from afar. The everyday citizen is increasingly losing the little influence he has left in society.
          Lets take the example you used with Obamacare and Repuiblicans not offering their own solution. I agree with you on that. While most people realize that Republicans differ from Democrats philosophically, Republicans have not made the case and explained how and why their positions are worth investing in. Being the party of “no” and merely being against Obamacare is not enough. It doesn’t give people an alternative. John Boehner disgraced himself and his party when he appeared on Jay Leno and didn’t use that opportunity to make the case and offer solutions.
          You talk about Cruz and Lee not legislating and only being bomb throwers. Well look at what we get with the status quo: 1500 page monstrosities that nobody has an idea whats in it or what it will mean going forward, including our elected officials! No debate, just ram it thru while Dems control the 3 branches of Govt.
          And now with Immigration, since the Dems don’t control all 3 branches, plans are in the works for Obama to once again go around congress and unilaterally write immigration law.
          SO when a Ted Cruz stands up and says this must stop. When he calls for leaders to slow down and listen to the people and have a debate, an actual debate on the Senate and House floors before moving forward, they are criticized for it? Why?
          When the debt ceiling is raised without any attempt to put spending reduction measures in place, its okay because legislation is getting done? No, that’s not how legislating ought to be done. If anything, slowing things down and saying “no” to the status quo of piling on debt, passing unbelievably complex laws, and tossing constitutional restraints aside, should be applaused, not criticized.
          So my question to you is: IF its not the Cruz approach that youre in favor of, what do you support? More of the same?

      • vicki

        fiscal bleeding? as usual, a Democrat cut the deficit (this time in half) that a Republican caused. (Hello, Bush tax cuts and RX drug plan and two unpaid for wars). Where the heck were Cruz and Lee when Georgie boy was spending like a drunken sailor? Where was Grover? Rove? (oh, yeah, pulling the strings.) Apparently Republicans don’t mind ‘fiscal bleeding’ if it benefits them and their friends

  • vetvoter

    Probably on a conference call being reamed out by the Koch Brothers. Their plan failed and now all of American knows the Brothers were behind the failed coup attempt.

    • xymbaline

      Any time a Libberrall starts a paragraph with “probably”, it means they’ve pulled something out of their butt and are now waving it in the air and trying to convince you it doesn’t stink.

      • MVH1

        And now we know what first comes from that thing in your skull you call a brain It’s filled with fecal matter.

        • Craig Morehouse

          Is English your 3rd language or your 4th?
          In either case, you need more lessons

          • MVH1

            And of course someone of your great intellect who grasps the topic at hand would never deviate into an idiotic statement like that so someone must have hijacked your moniker. Or you are a gigantic fool. Buzz off, toad.

          • Craig Morehouse

            You are correct about the giant intellect, but the rest has no meaning since I am not a Libberrall.

          • MVH1

            I don’t know any Libberralls. I guess that’s more of that gutted Republican public education at play.

          • Craig Morehouse

            Uh dude, there are no Republicans in the public school system. All Democrat, up and down the line. It’s *your* mess. not ours.

          • MVH1

            How incredibly stupid are you?

          • dectra

            Craig

            The stupidity of your post is mind-boggling.

            You do realize children of parents who support both parties are in the public school system, right?

      • dectra

        The only thing that ‘stinks’ is your attempt at posting, xymbaline.

      • vicki

        Any time a conservative starts a paragraph with a stupidly cutsie attempt at butchering the word “liberal” you know what’s going to follow is utter garbage. I stopped reading at the fourth word.

    • MVH1

      Heritage Foundation in all its manifestations called the House yesterday and reminded GOP members they would be primaried if they voted for the bill. The Kochs are being ignored by the monsters they created. Good.

      • Craig Morehouse

        Better watch your butt. Us monsters will be after you next.

        • MVH1

          You monsters are easy to squash because we’re watching you do it to yourselves, every minute of the day. Now buzz off, dumbbell.

        • dectra

          Nice grammar there, Craig. Home-schooled, were you?

  • xymbaline

    Ahh, Cruz and Lee. The only ones with brains and guts.

    • Berferd

      Yes indeed, if McShame called a meeting, I wouldn’t show up either. RINO dogs.

    • ThisIsNot4U2

      Yea…Too bad they donated both to science BEFORE they were done using them.

      • Craig Morehouse

        Wrong. That would have made them LiBBeRRaLLs, which clearly they are not.

        • dectra

          Wow Craig…..you couldn’t come up with an adult, substantive addition to the conversation, but you sure could stoop to to third grade style posting…..

          Congrats……………or something.

  • Sharon Morgan

    The R Senate caucus couldn’t even go through w/ their planned meeting. Instead they went to lunch. What a waste of time.

  • Igor Shafarevich

    David Hume noted our inherent moral standards when he observed that “the rules of our morality are not the conclusions of our reason“.

  • ThisIsNot4U2

    I’m sure EVERYONE there appreciated that Cruz and Lee stayed away. Could you imagine trying to keep your lunch down with those 2 “lepers” in the room?…

    • Craig Morehouse

      What a wonderfully crafted argument. Perfect example of another Lefty whose life peaked in 2nd grade.

      • dectra

        Craig,

        At least he wasn’t home-schooled like you apparently were.

  • ThisIsNot4U2

    John McCain is slowly starting to grow on me. I think he gets it.

    • Craig Morehouse

      Does that mean you’re the one giving it to him? Ugh

      • ThisIsNot4U2

        Why do you teabaggers ALWAYS have to go “there”?

        • MVH1

          Because they’re extra stupid with a 17th century agenda.

          • ThisIsNot4U2

            Agreed :-)

          • Craig Morehouse

            Case in point. Look, the Lefty used a 6 letter word! Your mother would be so proud.

          • Craig Morehouse

            Even so, we’re superior to you Leftys who have IQ’s equal to your golf scores.

          • dectra

            If you correlate your golf score to your IQ, you must be about 200

  • dectra

    Cowards who refused to show up.

  • vicki

    This is why our elected reps no longer only represent ‘their’ constituency. They have influence (in the Senate, one single, lone nutjob like Cruz) to hold the whole country hostage. Bad for the GOP but worse for we the people.

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