Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) went off on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on the Senate floor this morning, claiming that McConnell told him there would be no vote allowed on renewal of the Export-Import Bank.
“It saddens me to say this. I sat in my office, I told my staff 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 one of us,” Cruz 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 again, was a simple lie.”
McConnell was not on the Senate floor at the time, and his office said he wouldn’t be commenting on Cruz’s allegation.
“Supporters of the Ex-Im Bank are demanding a vote to reauthorize it, and they’ve made clear they’re ready to stop all other amendments if denied that opportunity. They’ve already proven they have the votes to back up the threat too,” he said earlier on the floor. “This presents a challenge for the Senate — and to opponents of the Ex-Im bank, like myself, in particular. But I believe we can still move forward, and I believe the more equitable and more balanced proposal I just offered will allow us to do so.”
McConnell said the deal “provides for votes on two long-sought, non-germane amendments.”
“First, it allows a vote on an amendment to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank — something nearly every Democrat wants. Second, it allows a vote on an amendment that would repeal Obamacare — something nearly every Republican wants, and something we will continue to fight for,” he said. “Ex-Im shouldn’t be the only vote we take on this bill — and under the compromise I just filed, it won’t be. That’s a much fairer way forward.”
“I urge my colleagues to join me in voting against Ex-Im, and I urge every senator to take this important opportunity to join me in voting to finally give the American people the fresh start they deserve on health care. I know we’ll engage in a robust debate on these issues. We should. And then, we’ll take a vote.”