By Bob Bennett
Last weekend’s attack on Sen. Ted Cruz for calling Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a liar had its roots back on May 21st. McConnell—doing Obama’s bidding—needed Democratic votes to get the 60 needed for cloture on the TPA bill; if you remember: that’s the bill designed to give Obama the power to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty with de facto Senate backing, in advance.
When the Treaty is negotiated, instead of needing the usual two-thirds vote to approve a treaty, it will sail through the Senate with expedited procedures: no filibusters, limited debate and only a simple majority needed to pass.
Trade Promotion Authority, as a practical matter, makes it a lot easier for a president to negotiate with other nations, because all parties know Congress backs the president in his negotiations. But we’re not talking about just any president, this is Obama, who lied to a nation about ObamaCare, who’s been relentlessly inciting racial strife against police, and who had recently shielded 4 million unlawful aliens from deportation—the latest in a string of executive amnesties. Obama did these without a vote of Congress, making them all illegal and unconstitutional.
For this reason, numerous Republicans opposed giving Obama more power via TPA.
But past history with Obama did not deter McConnell from trotting after the ball his master had thrown, so he could bring it back in his mouth and get a pat on the head.
As reported by Daniel Horowitz in Conservative Review, he approached Senators Maria Cantwell, and Patty Murray, Democrats of Washington State, who needed the Export-Import Bank reauthorized in order to keep massive loans flowing to Boeing, located in their state. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) also needed EX-IM passed because Boeing had a large plant in his state.
These three, together with other Dems they pulled in, allowed McConnell to reach the 60-vote threshold for cloture on the TPA, said Daniel Horowitz, whose commentary included a photo of McConnell huddling with these very Democrats, setting up the deal. Horowitz wrote:
“Murray told reporters that McConnell promised wavering Democrats that they would receive a vote on the bank’s fate next month, before the June 30 deadline when its charter would expire.”
To ensure that the House under Boehner would take up the bill, “Republicans said they would be willing to let Cantwell try to attach the bank’s reauthorization to a must-pass bill later this summer, such as the extension of highway funding that will be required at the end of July.”
And, indeed, that’s precisely what happened.
Later, Ted Cruz (who opposes EX-IM) stood and asked McConnell, before the entire GOP conference lunch, what the deal was that had just been cut. McConnell angrily denied thrice that there had been a deal.
In his speech last Friday excoriating McConnell, Cruz said he had taken the majority leader at his word, back in May, and voted for TPA, because “I support free trade.” After the speech, a herd of RINOs attacked Cruz for disparaging another Senator. These included Lamar Alexander and Orrin Hatch, who puffed himself up to declare:
“Most egregiously, Mr. President, the Senate floor has even become a place where Senators have singled out colleagues by name to attack them in personal terms and to impugn their character…”
Horowitz also cited Roll Call, which “proudly published an article disseminating Hatch’s narrative by showing how the revered KKK Kleagle, Robert Byrd, once complained about a senator calling Clinton a liar and ruining the decorum of the chamber.”
Lindsey Graham also slammed Cruz, saying he knew of no such deal. But of course he did, being himself a part of it, and admitted as much in a press release, May 21st:
“I’ve never felt better about the opportunity to reauthorize EX-IM Bank than I do today,” said Graham. “I want to thank Majority Leader McConnell and my Senate colleagues for working together to ensure a vote on the bank’s reauthorization in June before its charter expires.
All McConnell’s maneuvering was for naught, because Tuesday the Washington Examiner reported that the House had repeatedly rejected the Senate Highway bill, with the EX-IM amendment, in favor of a temporary highway-funding bill, and the EX-IM reauthorization would be held off “until at least September.”
What’s been lost in all this sturm und drang is that McConnell delivered a far worse lie to the entire Nation, during his campaign, one that even rivals the legendary lies of Obama: He repeatedly promised, when campaigning, to stop Obama—in particular to stop his illegal, unconstitutional, dictatorial amnesty.
Then, in March, he put on a sham struggle against Democrats repeatedly filibustering the House DHS funding bill—with attached amendments barring the use of any funds to finance the illegal amnesty.
Lacking the 60 votes to break the filibusters, McConnell stripped the amendments and passed the House bill without them, thus funding the unconstitutional amnesty—and violating his oath to defend that document. But McConnell could’ve passed the intact House bill, using reconciliation, with only 51 votes, which of course, he knew. This begs the question: What is McConnell getting out of helping Obama?
At the time, Senator Cruz said:
“The federal court injunction [against the amnesty] was a major victory for the rule of law, and we need to hold the Administration accountable to comply in every respect…
“Congress is obliged to use every constitutional check and balance we have to rein in President Obama’s lawlessness, and that includes both our confirmation authority over nominees and the power of the purse.”
…”The most potent power of Congress is the power of the purse,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), “lawmakers have a duty not to fund anything that is unconstitutional or illegal, which this [amnesty] is.”
One could comment that this now-funded amnesty will do immeasurable damage to America, but the Heritage Foundation has, in fact measured at least the cost of supporting the 4 million, over their lifetimes: $2 trillion, not counting the cost of supporting their children for life.
And he has encouraged a wannabe dictator to perform even more amnesty overreach—which DHS has already announced.
McConnell went on to actually whip votes to confirm Obama’s AG nominee Loretta Lynch, on record for agreeing with the president’s amnesty. For this, he received a thank-you note from Obama and boasted that he and the president were like the Odd Couple, sending notes to each other.
Then, he and Senate leaders pushed through the Corker-Cardin Bill, which handed the Senate’s treaty authority over to Obama, making it almost impossible to reject his Iran deal.
In recent days, he’s blocked every amendment voters would’ve wanted: Cruz’s amendment that would’ve forced Iran to recognize Israel and release the hostages, Mike Lee’s that would’ve defunded Planned Parenthood—both as punishment for Cruz’s excoriation of McConnell. He blocked an amendment to defund sanctuary cities as well.
Since voters can discern no effect of having handed the Senate to the GOP, there’s a real danger they may not come out in force to elect a Republican president.
Just before Election Day, McConnell said, “This is a chance to begin to save this country.” In fact, he is helping Obama to destroy it.
Bob Bennett is a New York-based writer who has written op-eds for the Wall Street Journal and the NY Post, and has appeared on Fox and Friends and America’s Newsroom. He has traveled widely and written travel pieces for the NY Post, a cover article for the Jewish Press, and an op-ed for the medical journal Cancer Biotherapy & Radioimmunotherapy. Bob was also award-winning producer of a travel radio show heard on New York stations: WMCA, WNWK and 50,000 watt WOR and the national Sky Angel Network. He now blogs on Tea Party Nation, Tea Party Community and Red State Diaries.