A Republican congressman said Monday that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is largely responsible for the first government shutdown since 1996.
Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that while he believes many individuals are at fault, including President Barack Obama, he said Cruz and others who bought into the quixotic campaign to defund the Affordable Care Act “took a lot of folks into the ditch.”
“But if I had to cast blame anywhere, I would say it was Sen. Cruz and those who insisted upon this tactic that we all knew was not going to succeed,” Dent said. “What he did essentially, Sen. Cruz, basically, he took a lot of folks into the ditch. Now that we’re in the ditch, you can’t get out of the ditch, the senator has no plan to get out of the ditch, those of us who do have a plan to get out of the ditch and will vote to get out of the ditch will then be criticized by those who put us in the ditch in the first place.”
Dent said that he will continue to urge House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to bring a “clean” continuing resolution — one that includes no language to undermine the health care law — to a vote.
“And I believe there are the votes to pass a clean CR,” Dent said, echoing an assertion by Democrats. Boehner, meanwhile, has disputed the notion that such a bill could pass the House.
Cruz has drawn the ire of many Republicans during the current budget impasse. Reports last week indicated that he was berated by fellow Republicans during a closed-door meeting.