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Right Hooks

McConnell Broke Senate Tradition to Stifle Cruz

McConnell has a political ferocity unmatched with his turtle-like appearance.

Dan Gilmore · Oct. 1, 2015
Mitch McConnell

In order to pass the clean Continuing Resolution Wednesday that kept the government running as usual until December, GOP leadership had to play political games normally unheard of in their ranks. After years of months of doddering, it appeared that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has a political ferocity unmatched with his turtle-like appearance. McConnell used congressional rules to silence senatorial firebrand Ted Cruz — who has used conflict with establishment Republicans in the past as a rallying point for his presidential campaign. The Daily Signal explained it was the kind of trickery that Sen. Harry Reid deployed to stifle the minority voice in the chamber. Traditionally, senators get an automatic second if they propose an amendment out of respect for the senators’ power. But when Cruz rose to amend the budget bill to strip funding for Planned Parenthood, McConnell required Cruz get a “sufficient second,” or 20 votes. “Now one man, the majority leader, gets to decide what issue is worthy enough to get a vote, and who is worthy enough to offer it,” Heritage Foundation’s Rachel Bovard said. “Not only is McConnell diluting the historical right of each senator (regardless of party), but he is also silencing the people that those senators represent.”

Similarly, McConnell has sought to smother Democrats in Congress, offering to the chief executive he negotiate directly with GOP leadership to pass a budget that will last two years so that a budget battle and the threat of shutdown doesn’t surface during next year’s election season. Just so you know how far McConnell went, Barack Obama said no.

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