Republican Congressmen are
continuing to rail against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)on the push to defund the Affordable Care Act through the government spending bill.
On Thursday night, Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said Cruz should “keep quiet” about House matters. And on Friday, Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) continued his blistering criticism of Cruz, complaining that he “abused” and “bullied” House conservatives into a strategy that’s going nowhere.
“I have to tell you what,” Duffy told “Morning Joe’s” Joe Scarborough on Friday.
“You should have been on the floor back in the cloak room. There was so much anger, so much frustration. Because, again, we’ve been abused by these guys for so long. What I see happening now is people coming out and calling them out for the hypocrisy of these big, tough conservatives who know how to fight but will never get in the ring.”
House Republicans have been angry — publicly — at Cruz since Wednesday, when he released a statement that Duffy said then was akin to “waving the white flag” and surrendering on Obamacare defunding. Cruz — along with Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) have been the leaders of the “defund” scheme that most Republicans agree has no chance of passing the Senate.
With 10 days until a possible government shutdown, Republicans are worried they’ll get heaped with the blame for a no-end strategy.
The House is voting Friday on its bill to keep the government funded, which includes language to strip funding for Obamacare. It is expected to pass, but the language will be stripped when it heads to the Senate — something Cruz acknowledged, finally, on Wednesday.
King told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Thursday the episode proved that Cruz and other Republican senators should stay out of the House’s business. He said that Republicans could “not let a government shutdown happen.” And he said that if the GOP’s image makes it through this “crisis,” it would be because of House Speaker John Boehner’s leadership.
“If anything good comes from all of this, when Ted Cruz and Rand Paul and Mike Lee fail in the Senate next week, maybe finally we Republicans will have ended their influence,” King said.
“We as House Republicans should stop letting Ted Cruz set our agenda for us,” King added. “He should stay in the Senate, keep quiet.
“If he can deliver on this — fine. If he can’t, he should keep quiet from now on and we shouldn’t listen to him.”
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