The PJ Tatler

Cruz: Use Lynch Nomination to Play Hardball with President on Immigration

We have a plan!

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is demanding that Republicans block the nomination of Loretta Lynch as attorney general until President Barack Obama relents on his immigration policies.

The likely presidential candidate said in an interview Tuesday that Republicans should use “every procedural tool” to block Obama’s move to defer deportations for roughly 5 million undocumented immigrants — calling on the GOP-led Senate Judiciary Committee to block her nomination and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to deny her a confirmation vote on the floor.

“For several months now, I have called on the Senate majority leader to halt confirmations of every nominee executive and judicial, other than vital national security positions, unless or until the president rescinds his unconstitutional amnesty,” Cruz told POLITICO in the Capitol. “We have an opportunity in front of us right now with Loretta Lynch – a nominee for attorney general — who has fully embraced and flat-out promised to implement the unconstitutional amnesty.”

Given the overwhelming loathing for the kind of immigration reform the president wants, this seems like a plausible suggestion. True, Cruz likes to push the envelope a little just to force conversations that make Republican leadership uncomfortable, but there are always kernels of political wisdom in each.

One of the supposed advantages to being in the majority is having control of procedural options that can be used to influence an agenda. In his first speech after the election last year, Mitch McConnell took one off the table. He seemed more interested in sending a message to Ted Cruz than to the Democrats.

Thankfully, Ted Cruz wasn’t listening.