Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, arguably the least liked lawmaker in Washington, was humiliated on the Senate floor on Thursday by his Democratic colleague, Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado.
The epic takedown occurred after Cruz blamed Democrats for the fact that members of the U.S. Coast Guard and other first responders are struggling as the shutdown drags on.
“I seldom rise on this floor to contradict somebody on the other side,” Bennet said after Cruz’s remarks. “I have worked very hard over the years to work in a bipartisan way with the presiding officer with my Republican colleagues, but these crocodile tears that the senator from Texas is crying for first responders are too hard for me to take.”
The Democrat added, “How ludicrous it is that this government is shut down over a promise the president of the United States couldn’t keep and that America is not interested in having him keep.”
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 24, 2019
The Senate Democrat ripped into Cruz’s hypocrisy on the shutdown:
When the senator from Texas shut this government down in 2013, my state was flooded. It was under water. People were killed. People’s houses were destroyed. Their small businesses were ruined forever. And because of the senator from Texas, this government was shut down for politics. Then he surfed to a second place finish in the Iowa caucuses but were of no help to the first responders, to the teachers, to the students whose schools were closed with a federal government that was shut down because of the junior senator from Texas. Now it’s his business, not my business, why he supports a president who wants to erect a medieval barrier on the border of Texas, who wants to use eminent domain to build that wall, who wants to declare an unconstitutional emergency to build that wall. That’s the business of the senator from Texas. I can assure you that in Colorado if a president said he was going to use eminent domain to erect a barrier across the state of Colorado, across the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, he was going to steal the property of our farmers and ranchers to build his medieval wall, there wouldn’t be an elected leader from our state that would support that idea. Which goes to my final point, how ludicrous it is that this government is shut down over a promise the president of the United States couldn’t keep and that America is not interested in having him keep.
Ted Cruz and other Republicans should take a seat
If there is one person who should stay seated during this government shutdown, it’s Ted Cruz. In 2013, he singlehandedly shut down the government because he wasn’t happy with more Americans having health insurance. As Sen. Bennet noted on Thursday, that Cruz-caused shutdown in 2013 had deadly consequences.
Now, as the longest shutdown in American history drags on, more Americans are suffering at the hands of a petty president and complicit Republican Party.
As a result, hundreds of thousands of workers are being forced to work without a paycheck. They are struggling to stay in their homes, feed their families and afford medication. Many of them have to go to food pantries or homeless shelters just to stay afloat.
Why? Because people like Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz have decided that paying the workers that keep our country safe is less important than a wall on the southern border that nobody wants.
No amount of phony outrage will change the reality that this is their shutdown. It’s time for them to own it.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.