Senator Ted Cruz blew up a handshake deal between Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid to vote on Senate nominees and the so-called Cromnibus bill Monday evening.
Cruz took to the floor late Friday to castigate congressional leaders for trying to pass the 1,600-page spending bill after only a few hours of debate and questioned the resolve of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to fight Obama’s executive order protecting five million illegal immigrants from deportation.
“Even though millions of voters rose up just one month ago to protest how President Obama and the Senate Democrats were running Washington, business as usual is continuing inside the marble halls of the United State Congress,” Cruz said in a fiery floor speech.
Because of objections from Cruz and his ally Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), the Senate will begin slogging through procedural votes on nominees starting at noon Saturday and vote to end a filibuster of the omnibus spending package at 1 a.m. Sunday morning.
“It appears that we’re going to have to have a series of votes all day tomorrow starting as soon as we get here and perhaps into the morning,” Reid said shortly before temporarily adjourning the chamber Friday night.
A senior Senate Democratic aide said the Senate may hold up to 40 procedural votes on nominees this weekend due to what he called the “extreme pettiness on the part of Republicans.”
Cruz waited until Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor to make his move:
The senior Democratic aide noted McConnell left the Capitol Friday evening apparently believing he had a deal with Reid to avoid a weekend vote-a-rama, telling reporters, “see ya Monday.”
“Senator McConnell left the Capitol apparently thinking there was a deal but his caucus rejected it after he left, while Senator Cruz took to the Senate floor to openly question Senator McConnell’s honesty and integrity,” the aide said.
The most cynical and evil part of Cruz' speech comes at about 3 minutes into the video above, where he talks about handling immigration through legislation and chides President Obama for ignoring our system of checks and balances while failing to admit that the Senate -- the body he is now blackmailing -- has indeed passed legislative remedies. It's the House that hasn't.
Cruz will not be making many friends with this move, and it will be quite interesting to see how McConnell deals with him in the future. Unless, of course, this was by design all the way around. I wouldn't put it past them.
Update: It appears that he handed Democrats a gift, with the move backfiring in a spectacular way.