Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 7, 2015

No, Ted Cruz Doesn’t Trust Paul Ryan

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas conceded Wednesday that he doesn’t trust fellow Republicans to not agree to fast-track a debt ceiling increase as part of a budget conference, after prodding by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

“The senior senator from Arizona urged this body to trust the Republicans. Let me be clear: I don’t trust the Republicans, and I don’t trust the Democrats,” Cruz said. “I think a whole lot of Americans likewise don’t trust the Republicans and the Democrats because it is leadership in both parties that has gotten us in this mess.”

Cruz’s statement on the floor answers a question we posed weeks ago, asking if Cruz would trust House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., the party’s vice presidential nominee in 2012.

Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., was seated in the chamber during the conversation.

Cruz’s comments came after McCain came to the floor for the second day in a row in support of a move by Democrats to go to conference on a House-Senate budget. McCain contends that the GOP should seek to instruct the conferees through a nonbinding process rather than taking an unusual step of binding conferees.

Cruz and several Republican colleagues, including Mike Lee of Utah and Marco Rubio of Florida argue that since the debt ceiling wasn’t debated as part of the Senate’s consideration of the budget resolution, it should not be possible to use the reconciliation process for such an increase in the debt limit. Reconciliation rules allow legislation to pass the Senate with a simple majority and limited debate.

It seems that Cruz could have offered an amendment to the budget resolution to block a debt limit increase through reconciliation during the Senate’s vote-a-rama earlier this year, however.

Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., followed up saying that if making it not in order for a conference committee to make certain moves became the norm, he would suggest Social Security be kept away from conference.

“I think I’d get a lot of support for that and we wouldn’t go to conference. But at the end of the day, if we’re serious, we’re supposed to sit down and work out our differences, House and Senate, Democrats and Republicans,” Durbin said.

Truth be told, air-dropping provisions into conference reports is a well-established (if sometimes unsavory) practice. In this case, it seems unlikely that the House negotiators would agree to such a move unless they strike a thus far elusive grand bargain with their Senate counterparts.

Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., has tried for weeks to get a consent agreement to get to a budget conference and bypass an assortment of unusual procedural hurdles that could be erected.

While McCain and Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins have spoken on the floor in support of that effort this week, numerous other Senate Republicans have signaled support for getting to conference. That’s a point McCain made on Wednesday.

“We’re talking about a minority within a minority,” McCain told Durbin. “The majority of my colleagues in the United States Senate on this side of the aisle, with motions to instruct the conferees, want to move forward and appoint these conferees and do what every American family has to do in America and that’s to have a budget.”

Comments (64)

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  1. Floyd Wilson

    May 22, 2013
    4:20 p.m.

    But the republicans have to hold up the budget, again. How else will they blame Obama for not having a budget?

  2. ApplePie101

    May 23, 2013
    1:04 p.m.

    Cruz speaks for a growing population of voters disgusted with the republican party’s repeated sell-out to the Obama administration, and its failure to mount serious opposition to debt hikes, Obamacare, and immigration law violations. A vote for this republican party is an indirect vote for the democrat party.

  3. matman

    May 23, 2013
    10:10 p.m.

    Ted Cruz Joke

    One day in the future, Ted Cruz has a
    heart-attack and dies.

    He immediately goes to hell, where the devil is waiting for him.

    “I don’t know what to do here,” says the devil. “You are
    on my list, but I have no room for you.

    You definitely have to stay here, so I’ll tell you what I’m going to do.

    I’ve got a couple of folks here who weren’t quite as bad as you.

    I’ll let one of them go, but you have to take his place. I’ll even let
    you decide who leaves.”

    Cruz thought that sounded pretty good, so the devil opened the door to the
    first room.

    In it was Ronald Reagan and a large pile of bullshit. Ronnie kept diving in and surfacing with
    bullshit in his mouth. Over and over and over he dived in and surfaced with
    nothing but bullshit in his mouth. Such was his fate in hell.

    “No,” Cruz said. “I don’t think so. As an arrogant
    sanctimonious Tea Bagger, I’m already full of hypocritical bullshit, and I
    don’t think I could do that all day long.”

    The devil led him to the door of the next room. In it was Richard Nixon
    with a sledge-hammer and a room full of rocks. All he did was swing that
    hammer, time after time, after time.

    “No, this is no good; I’ve got this
    problem with my shoulder. I would be in constant agony if all I could do was
    break rocks all day,” commented Cruz.

    The devil opened a third door. Through it, Cruz saw Mark Foley, lying on
    a bed, his arms tied over his head, and his legs restrained in a spread-eagle
    pose. Bent over him in a wide stance was Larry Craig, lips open wide, doing
    what he does best.

    Cruz looked at this in shock and disbelief, and finally said,
    “Yeah, man, I can handle this!”

    The devil smiled and said……….

    “OK, Larry, you’re free to go.”

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