Is the Senate rhetoric heating up?
On Friday, Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, took an unusual step, according to Yahoo News: He called his own party leader a “liar.” Several times.
Cruz’s message on the Senate floor was on a complicated topic: He accused Senate Majority Leader McConnell, R-Ky., of lying to him and other senators about offering an amendment on the controversial-among-conservatives Export-Import Bank, a government agency that provides financing to American companies trying to send goods abroad that might not get loans from private banks.
The authorization for the bank has already expired, and Republicans would like to make sure it’s not renewed.
However, the Senate now is now getting ready to vote Sunday on an amendment to revive the bank as part of its consideration of a long-term transportation bill currently before it.
“If the actual issue is down in the legislative weeds, Cruz’s delivery and intention could not have been more geared to the broad media spotlight,” writes Merideth Shiner of Yahoo News.
Cruz dramatically accused McConnell of breaking a promise to him and also of being beholden to special interests and no better for conservatives than his Democratic predecessor (Senator Reid).
“Today is a sad day for this institution,” Cruz said, launching what would become a 20-minute speech on the floor. “The Senate operates based on trust. Whether we are Democrats or Republicans, these 100 senators have to be able to trust that when a senator says something, he or she will do it. Even if we disagree on substance, that we don’t lie to each other.
“The majority leader looked me in the eye, and looked 54 Republicans in the eye. I cannot believe he would tell a flat-out lie. And I voted based on those assurances that he made to each and every single one of us,” he said. “What we just saw today was an absolute demonstration that not only what he told every Republican senator but what he told the press over and over and over and over again was a simple lie.”