Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) believes there’s a simple reason Congress is so unpopular: Elected leaders say one thing and do another.
In the middle of a Wednesday afternoon Senate debate on immigration, Cruz accused the Democratic leadership of privately stymieing his proposal to block President Barack Obama’s “amnesty” plan. This, he argued, was a manifestation of Washington’s integrity problem.
“The most frequent thing you hear all throughout the country is that the men and women in Washington, they aren’t listening to us. Something happens — I don’t know if it’s the water or what it is — but they get to Washington, they stop listening to us and they don’t tell us the truth. They’re lying to us,” Cruz said.
Cruz then compared congressional popularity to that of the Ebola virus devastating parts of West Africa.
“There is a reason why the popularity of Congress rivals that of Ebola: Because the American people recognise the people in this body aren’t telling them the truth,” he quipped.
Cruz, a conservative firebrand and a potential presidential candidate in 2016, was attempting to rally the Senate around his legislation aiming to stifle Obama’s future executive orders relating to immigration. Obama had initially promised to take executive action by the end of summer but recently pushed back his deadline to after the November elections. But the delay wasn’t enough for Cruz, who wants to permanently halt Obama’s immigration agenda.
Cruz even floated a proposal to include the provision ending Obama’s deferred-deportations program in the spending bill that must pass before Sept. 30 to avoid a shutdown.
Cruz also criticised Democrats who insisted Cruz’s legislation was simply a bad idea. He argued that the refusal to allow a vote on it showed Democrats were actually afraid of his bill passing.
“If it were objectively a bad idea — if it were a bad idea and the Democrats agreed on that — bringing it up for a vote would be very simple. You’d bring it up for a vote; the Democrats have 55 Democrats in this body, they could all vote it down. It would be defeated,” he said. “The reason the majority leader is fighting so hard to prevent a vote on this is that a great many of the members in his caucus are doing everything in their power to convince their constituencies back home they don’t support amnesty.”
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.