Senator Ted Cruz just did the unthinkable — he went on the floor of the U.S. Senate to detail how his fellow Republican and colleague Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell lied to 54 Republican Senators, the press and the American people.
The lie? Swearing repeatedly that he had not cut a deal with Democrats to bring back a vote to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank.
The issue itself, while important, isn’t the issue. It’s the intent to deceive by our Republican leaders that is the issue. In spite of repeated assurances that Republicans oppose Ex-Im, no one is denying that Cruz is wrong. McConnell is indeed clearing the way for a vote.
Senator Harry Reid just tweeted “I commend @SenateMajLdr for setting up a vote to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. This bill is critically important for U.S. businesses.”
McConnell apparently cut the deal during the Trade Promotion Authority vote — you know, the vote where Republican leaders paved the way for executive amnesty.. Senator Cruz did what very few elected leaders here in Virginia or in Congress will do: before the TPA vote, Cruz asked McConnell in front of all the Republican US Senators what was the deal on the TPA and was there a deal on the Ex-Im. Cruz said that McConnell was visibly angry that Cruz directly asked.
Why would he be angry? Because the way our elected leaders do business here in Virginia and in Congress is by counting on everyone to turn a blind eye. What you don’t know, you aren’t responsible for. So you just don’t ask. And woe to those who dare question leadership.
McConnell was on record that there was no deal. And when he brazenly cleared the way for the vote anyway, he counted on the “collegiality” of the Senate. Now that Senator Tom Coburn is no longer in the Senate, McConnell must have believed that no one would dare expose the truth. The stakes are high for any elected leader to talk about what really goes on in the inner sanctum of state and federal government. If they do, they’ll lose their spot on the prized committees, they’ll lose campaign cash from the leadership and, heck, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce might even target them if they get out of line.But Senator Cruz rightly points out that the Senate — our government — operates based on trust. “Even if we disagree on substance, that we don’t lie to each other.” Most of us expect and trust that our leaders are being honest with us in their governing practices.
Unfortunately this is just one example of the breakdown in truth by our leaders. The impact goes far beyond misleading us on this corporate welfare vote. Our Republican leaders have the majority in the House and in the Senate and they’re using it to carry the water for Democrat policy. We’re not talking about just fiscal policy but national security.
During the vote on the Iran Review Act, Senator Cruz said that McConnell rejected an amendment that would “actually put teeth in the Iran Review Act by requiring affirmative congressional approval before sanctions on Iran could be lifted.”
Where are the rest of the Republicans? Where is the outrage that they were lied to – that the American people are being duped? If our elected officials will stop tolerating these deceptive governing practices, it won’t happen.
Every Republican sound bite you hear where they are concerned about the security threat the Iran deal poses to America is just that — a sound bite. Republican leaders — whatever their motive — are doing nothing to stop this “deal” that our president has cut with Iran allowing them to build a nuclear bomb. Senator Mitch McConnell is the Republican Senate Majority leader and he blocked any amendment to the Iran Review Act, thus hamstringing the Senate’s ability to stop the lifting of sanctions embodied by Obama’s deal with the ayatollahs.
All it will take to turn this around is just a handful of our elected Republican leaders to stand alongside elected leaders like Senator Cruz when they are rightly pointing out that our leaders cannot govern in deception. As we can see, those who lead in deception may start off by doing so with policies that they think don’t have much impact, so they do it for the sake of political expediency. Deceiving is a means to the end of holding onto power.
But, as we can see now, it’s a slippery slope. Republican majorities in Virginia have raised taxes, propped up corporate donors, and cut their own deals at the expense of the people. And Republican majorities at the federal level are facilitating policies such as the “toothless” Iran Review Act that endanger America and our allies by allowing the lifting of sanctions on the number one state sponsor of terrorism.
All it takes is just a few of our elected leaders to stand fast to principle and truth, even if it means calling out our own Republican leadership. I admire Senator Cruz for informing the American people of the truth.