House Republicans are still steamed at Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for what they claim is an apparent last minute retreat in an effort to defund Obamacare in exchange for funding the federal government.
House GOP aides exchanged angry emails and even cursed at “amateur” Cruz in the cloakroom Wednesday, according to a National Review Online report published Thursday.
“Cruz keeps raising conservatives’ hopes, and then, when we give him what he wants, he doesn’t have a plan to follow through,” one aide said, according to NRO. “Nancy Pelosi is more well-liked around here,” said another.
In a joint statement Wednesday with Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), Cruz said that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) “likely” has the votes to strip language defunding Obamacare from any bill that makes its way over from the House.
“This is outrageous,” a senior House GOP aide told TPM on Wednesday. “They demand a fight for two months, supposedly on behalf of the grassroots and constituents and then within hours of getting the fight, they slink away, abandon those same people and do nothing.”
Cruz explained to NRO that his intention was never to spark a defund effort in the Senate, but to galvanize the country into doing so instead.
“And on Obamacare, I’ve said, from the start, that if typical Washington rules apply, we can’t win this fight,” he said. “If the forums in which we make this case consist of the smoke-filled rooms of Washington, the votes aren’t there. The only way this fight will be won is if the American people rise up and hold our elected officials accountable.”
Rep. Pete King (R-NY) had another message for the Lone Star State firebrand Thursday evening: Mind your own business.
“He should stay in the Senate, keep quiet,” he said on CNN. “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.”