Ted Cruz seemed on the verge of tears today as he discussed the fact that first responders had been furloughed during the partial government shut down. And Senator Michael Bennet took him to task for it in an impassioned speech that pointed out Cruz’s past support for federal shutdowns during the Obama administration.
“These crocodile tears that the Senator from Texas is crying for first responders are too hard for me to take,” Bennet said. “They’re too hard for me to take because when the Senator from Texas shut this government in 2013 my state was flooded.”
The senator went on to remind Cruz and his assembled colleagues that people were killed during those floods in Colorado.
As Vox notes, in 2013, Republicans insisted that the spending bill for the next fiscal period should delay the implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act. Cruz was a key supporter of this move that led to the government being shut down for 17 days.
The current shutdown is the longest one on record and has lasted more than a month.
In a raised voice, that bellowed with what sounded like exasperation and/or anger, the senator from Colorado ripped President Trump for using the border wall to force the government into a partial shutdown.
“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,” he shouted.
Cruz later called Bennet out for his “hatred” of Donald Trump and for “yelling” his speech. Bennet said that he did not recall yelling but recalled that Cruz accused a member of the Senate of lying during a debate in 2015, NBC News reports.
Despite the bluster from both sides, the bills were expected to fail, long before senators were convened to vote on them, Vox notes. This means more financial insecurity for 800,000 federal workers whose lives have been turned upside down by the current shutdown. So the big question is: what happens now?
Vox reports that the failed bills may actually push both sides close to a compromise as Democrats are expected to propose a spending bill that includes more money for border security. They likely will not include any money specifically for a border wall, however. According to Vox, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that the Democrats did not negotiate the terms of this offer with the Republicans behind closed doors.
So, after a little over a month of political back and forths, it looks like there may be an end to this ordeal in sight. But the 800,000 affected federal workers probably won’t be breathing a sigh of relief just yet.