Republican Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.) lashed out at fellow GOP Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) in a heated exchange on the Senate floor Thursday afternoon, rebuking his objection to move up a vote on a bill to avert a government shutdown.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid requested to move up the timeline on the Senate’s continuing resolution, which would have allowed for a possible vote later Thursday night.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) — who has led the fight to strip funding for the Affordable Care Act along with Cruz — objected to Reid’s request.
Cruz soon joined in, and he and Lee explained that they wanted to hold the vote on Friday, when more Americans would be watching.
In a subsequent three-way exchange that featured Corker, Cruz, and Reid, Corker repeatedly blasted Cruz and questioned his motives. He accused Cruz of turning the government-funding debate into a “show.” And he said that the only reason Cruz wanted to delay the vote to Friday was to “send out emails” because “they want people around the world to watch maybe them and others on the Senate floor.”
Corker argued that the House of Representatives wanted the Senate legislation as soon as possible, and he specifically fingered Cruz and Lee for the delay.
“It’s not the Republican side that’s asking to stall,” Corker said. “We only have two Republican senators who are asking to push this off.”
Corker’s battle with Cruz further ignited rising Republican tension, and it prompted Andy Roth, the vice president of the conservative group Club for Growth, to bash Corker on Twitter:
Senator Corker effectively became a Democrat just now on the Senate floor.
— Andy Roth (@andyroth) September 26, 2013
You can watch the whole exchange here.
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