After Getting Creamed By Cruz, McConnell Just Did Something That Will Stun Conservatives

Only a few days after repeatedly being called an untrustworthy liar during a floor speech by Sen. Ted Cruz, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has done something that Cruz and other conservatives will likely consider a positive move. The Kentucky Republican has pledged to hold a vote to repeal Obamacare and to do it in such a way that only a simple majority of 51 senators would be needed to turn thumbs down on the unpopular law.

CNS News reports that Sens. McConnell and Mike Lee of Utah, a Cruz ally, have issued a joint statement in which the majority leader promises to use the budget reconciliation process to cut funding to President Obama’s health care takeover law. Sen. Lee apparently came to the agreement with McConnell and other GOP lawmakers in the upper chamber after the Utah Republican dropped his effort to repeal Obamacare by attaching an amendment to the highway funding bill, considered a must-pass piece of legislation.

The article on CNS News quotes Mitch McConnell from the joint statement:

“Earlier this year, Senate Republicans passed a balanced budget, and with it the necessary procedural tools – via the budget reconciliation process – to bring an end to the nightmare of Obamacare,” McConnell said in the joint statement with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).

“Americans have faced skyrocketing health care costs, rampant fraud and more government between them and their doctors. And Republicans are united in working to repeal the broken promises of Obamacare and allow our country to start over fresh with real health reform that Americans deserve,” he added.

While CNS News characterizes the McConnell pledge to conduct a simple-majority vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act as a win for Sen. Lee and his conservative colleagues, curiously The Hill takes a different view of this development in the Senate. The opening paragraph of The Hill’s coverage casts Lee’s maneuver in a negative light.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) has officially conceded defeat in his effort to force a Senate vote on repealing ObamaCare, which ended Monday night after a tense face-off with leadership.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that Senate Republicans will stand firm and united behind the latest attempt to kill the president’s signature legislative achievement — there’s no certainty that they’ll tally the 51 votes necessary to defund under the reconciliation procedure — but it would seem that the 114th Congress could be closer than ever to sending a kill-the-law bill to President Obama, who is certain to veto it.

With Congress members only days from leaving Washington for their extended summer break, there’s no timetable set for a vote on the budget reconciliation bill that McConnell has vowed to present. There’s also no indication that what Mitch McConnell just pledged to do as an attempt to repeal Obamacare and satisfy frustrated GOP voters was in response to the very public and very passionate assault on his integrity by presidential contender Ted Cruz.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Here’s What Sinister Thing The GOP Is Doing To Cruz, After He Called McConnell A Liar

Senate Republican leadership called out Sen. Ted Cruz for his accusation that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell lied about a backroom deal being struck to bring a controversial measure to a vote.

As reported by Western Journalism, Cruz, in a speech from the Senate floor Friday, called out McConnell for lying to him and his Republican Senate colleagues about whether there was a deal made to pass Trade Promotion Authority (TPA)–a measure strongly supported by Republicans–in May, in exchange for bringing the re-authorization of the Export-Import Bank (strongly supported by Democrats) to a vote.

Many conservative Republicans, including Cruz, believe the Ex-Im Bank, which uses taxpayer dollars to subsidize American exports, is a boondoggle and a blatant example of crony capitalism that should be eliminated.

Cruz recounted seeing senators huddling on the Senate floor in May, while the vote regarding TPA was held up.

After the vote, Cruz asked McConnell point-blank at a Republican senators lunch whether there was a deal cut to get Democrats to vote for TPA, in exchange for a vote on the Export-Import bank re-authorization. The Texas senator stated in his Friday speech that McConnell repeated three times to the group, “There is no deal,” like “Saint Peter” of old, said Cruz.

Yet last week, McConnell brought the amendment forward himself to include the Ex-Im Bank re-authorization in the highway bill, Cruz observed. When he calls up an amendment as a majority leader, “No one can stop him,” he said.

Cruz stated clearly that there was a deal, and that McConnell is lying.

Without stating his name specifically, Sen. Orin Hatch, R-Utah, rebuked Cruz for accusing McConnell of lying by reading a provision from Rule 19 regarding senate decorum: “No Senator in debate shall, directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.”

Hatch noted that when a senator is “called to order under this rule, that senator must take his or her seat and may not proceed without leave of the senate.”

“Regrettably, in recent times, the Senate floor has too often become a forum for partisan messaging,” Hatch said, acting in the role of President Pro Tempore of the Senate. “It has been used as a tool to advance personal ambitions, a venue to promote political campaigns, and even a vehicle to enhance fundraising efforts, all at the expense of the proper functioning of this body,” he said.

“Squabbling and sanctimony may be tolerated in other venues — or perhaps on the campaign trail — but they have no place among colleagues in the United States Senate,” warned Hatch.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, McConnell’s second in command, piled on, stating that if the majority leader had made such an statement, “I suspect you would find other voices joining that of the junior senator [Cruz].”

“I think it was outside the realm of Senate behavior,” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said regarding Cruz’s remarks. “I would never contemplate going to the floor of the Senate and impugning the integrity of another senator. Just not something we do here. I really think it was a very wrong thing to do,” he said.

McConnell defended his actions from the Senate floor on Sunday: “I’ve said repeatedly and publicly for months that the Ex-Im supporters from both parties should be allowed a vote. I also said publicly that the highway bill would be an obvious place to have that vote.”

“When there is overwhelming bipartisan support for an idea, even if I oppose it, it doesn’t require some ‘special deal’ to see a vote occur on the measure. This is the United States Senate, after all, where we debate and vote on all kinds of different issues,” he added.

Cruz did not back down from his Friday remarks, telling reporters after Sunday’s vote: “I do not believe speaking the truth is anything other than in the very best tradition of the United States Senate.”

He said that McConnell took “extraordinary steps designed to force a vote to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank and they were directly contrary to the promises the Majority Leader made to 53 Republicans and to the press.” Cruz added: “My saying so is uncomfortable but it is a simple fact entirely consistent with decorum and no member of this body has disputed that promise was made and that promise was broken.”

The Senate Conservatives Fund–founded by former South Carolina Senator (now president of the Heritage Foundation) Jim DeMint —tweeted its support for Ted Cruz’s account of events.

Senate Conservatives Fund - Ted Cruz Support

As reported by Western Journalism earlier this month, the Texas senator was asked at an event by a reporter whether he thought the GOP leadership was corrupt. The senator answered by offering the example of the 2013 debt ceiling debate.

After legislation passed the House raising the debt ceiling, primarily with the help of Democrats, the measure came to the Senate. The leadership called all the GOP senators into a meeting and asked them to agree, with a unanimous consent floor vote, to allow the debt ceiling increase to go forward by a simple majority, rather than the usual 60 vote requirement. The leadership said that that way, the Democrats could pass it by themselves (they had 55 senators at the time), and all the Republicans could vote against it and go tell their constituents how they stood up against big spending.

Cruz indicated he could not in good faith do what they were asking. He said only Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, stood with him and filibustered raising the debt ceiling without spending reforms.

GOP leadership pressed Cruz why he was going to make five Republican senators have to vote with the Democrats to pass the legislation. Cruz saw the incident as emblematic of leadership that had forgotten why they were sent to Washington.

h/t: Bizpac Review

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

SHOCK: What Cruz Just Said On The Senate Floor Could Be Declaration Of GOP War (Video)

He’s been referred to as the “Cruz missile,” and today the senator from Texas took dead aim at a top GOP colleague often associated with the Republican establishment that conservatives distrust.

Solemnly saying that “today is a sad day for this institution,” Senator and presidential hopeful Ted Cruz took to the floor of the upper chamber on Friday and delivered a verbal broadside to his own party’s leadership, accusing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of lying.

“The Senate operates based on trust,” said Cruz, who then went on to claim the high-powered Kentucky Republican lied to him repeatedly about having agreed to a deal involving votes for the recently passed Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and an attempt to revive the lapsed authorization for the controversial Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank.

Cruz was unabashed and relentless in his accusation that McConnell falsely denied there was no back-room arrangement regarding support gathered for TPA and the pending move to restart the currently dormant bank. The Ex-Im Bank is billed as an independent federal agency that helps U.S. companies expand their overseas sales.

The Texas senator even went so far as to charge that McConnell has engaged in “the same procedural abuse” that his predecessor, Harry Reid, “did over and over and over again.”

A Politico piece on the extraordinary Cruz floor speech says that the GOP senator’s outburst was a rare and stunning break with the “traditions of the usually decorous chamber.” Publicly calling out a colleague in such a direct and accusatory fashion is generally considered a no-no.

In a scathing floor speech, the Texas firebrand accused the Senate majority leader of breaking his word to him and the rest of the GOP conference over McConnell’s plans for the controversial Export-Import Bank, the country’s chief export credit agency. In Cruz’s telling, McConnell privately promised him and other Republicans that “there was no deal” with a handful of senators who were seeking to revive the bank in exchange for their votes to advance a major trade bill in May.

While Ted Cruz is often considered a firebrand known for speaking his mind and not worrying about ticking off the GOP establishment, for him to go in front of his fellow senators as well as the C-Span audience with this kind of harsh accusation could be called a “shocker” by a lot of people, even Cruz fans.

Some might wonder if Cruz — lagging far behind his GOP rivals in most presidential polls — could be taking a cue from the wildly outspoken Donald Trump, who has certainly gained attention and popularity of late with his bold and brazen accusations. Of course, contrary to the style in which Trump tends to shoot from what you might call “the verbal hip,” Sen. Cruz was more measured and methodical in laying out his argument that Mitch McConnell is a scheming, manipulative liar.

By clicking on the video above, you can see for yourself what Ted Cruz had to say that has caused such a media stir on a Friday afternoon and could prove to be “the shot heard round the Senate” in a new battlefront between staunch conservatives and the power-wielding establishment.

What do you think? Was Cruz out of line or on the mark in his criticism of Mitch McConnell? Join the conversation by leaving your comment below.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

BREAKING: Senate Passes ‘Fast Track’, Sends It To White House

The Senate voted Wednesday to approve “fast-track” trade authority, sending the bill to the White House for President Obama’s signature.

The bill to authorize Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) passed 60 to 38, The Hill reported. A vote to end debate was held Tuesday. After the president signs the bill into law, he will be able to present any trade bill to Congress for a straight up-or-down vote — without fear of any amendments or filibusters. TPA will last until 2018 and can be extended through 2021.

“We had plenty of bumps along the road. Frankly, a few big potholes too,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said ahead of the vote Wednesday. “But we worked across the aisle to get through all of them. That’s an example of a new Congress that’s back to work for the American people.”

With TPA’s inevitable signature, Obama will be able to present several global trade agreements to Congress. Chief among them is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade agreement with 12 Asian and Central American countries. Details of TPP have been kept behind closed doors, noted Edward-Isaac Dovere of Politico.

If you want to hear the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal the Obama administration is hoping to pass, you’ve got to be a member of Congress, and you’ve got to go to classified briefings and leave your staff and cellphone at the door.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., a staunch opponent of TPA and TPP, excoriated the bill’s passage. “The same routine plays out over and again,” Sessions said in a statement. “We are told a massive bill must be passed, all the business lobbyists and leaders tell us how grand it will be, but that it must be rushed through before the voters spoil the plan.”

President Obama, and allies in Congress, have won this fast-track vote. But, in exchange, they may find that they are losing something far greater: the trust of the American people. Americans have a fundamental, decent, and just demand: that the people they elect defend their interests. And every issue to come before us in the coming months will have to pass this test: does it strengthen, or weaken, the position of the everyday, loyal American citizen?

After TPA, the upper chamber held a vote which passed easily on cloture for a trade package renewing Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), which funds workers affected by trade agreements.

Are you fed up with both political parties? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Ted Cruz Just Changed Course In A HUGE Way That Will Make Both Obama And Top GOP Furious

The legislation that’s come to be known as Obamatrade is facing a crucial procedural vote in the Senate today, and one GOP lawmaker who previously supported the bill has now turned against it. Charging that the controversial Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) that President Obama so dearly wants is “enmeshed in corrupt Washington backroom deal-making,” Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is putting his boot down — saying “enough is enough” — and vowing to vote against Obamatrade.

In an exclusive post for Breitbart, the 2016 GOP presidential contender credits WikiLeaks with revealing key information that helped to change his mind about the fast-track trade authority Obama has been twisting arms to acquire.

…WikiLeaks subsequently revealed new troubling information regarding the Trade in Services Agreement, or TiSA, one of the trade deals being negotiated by Obama.

Despite the administration’s public assurances that it was not negotiating on immigration, several chapters of the TiSA draft posted online explicitly contained potential changes in federal immigration law. TPA would cover TiSA, and therefore these changes would presumably be subject to fast-track.

In the Breitbart op-ed, Cruz goes on to blast the leadership of his own party — particularly Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner — for quietly cutting deals with Democrats to win votes for Obamatrade.

“Why does Republican Leadership always give in to the Democrats? Why does Leadership always disregard the promises made to the conservative grassroots?”

Long a favorite of grassroots and tea party conservatives, Cruz has reportedly sent the fast-track TPA legislation to the brink of defeat in the Senate with his about-face decision to oppose it.

Senate GOP leaders have scheduled a vote for today, Tuesday, on advancing a new version of the fast-track bill that was recently approved by the House — it’s a procedural vote that will require 60 votes to pass.

Western Journalism has published a number of posts on what TPA would mean for Obama’s continued expansion of executive power, including a recent opinion piece by KrisAnne Hall in which she warned of the formidable power Obama would enjoy if TPA makes it out of the Congress and to his desk for his signature.

TPA is an authority granted to the president to engage in “executive agreements” with foreign countries. What is that actually? Well, simply put, it is the power of Executive Orders for international agreements.

“Executive agreements” are not the same as treaties, the “experts” claim, because they do not carry “Constitutional authority.” However, the “experts” will tell you that even though they do not carry the power of Constitutional law, they carry the power of International law.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth