Despite Leading 2013 Shutdown, Cruz Says I’ve ‘Consistently Opposed’ Them

Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images North America

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Monday said he has “consistently opposed shutdowns,” despite effectively forcing the 2013 governmental shutdown to occur over his efforts to defund Obamacare.

Shouting down reporters questions on Monday, Cruz called their inquiries about his role in the 2013 shutdown “incorrect” and told reporters they “don’t have any facts.”

I have consistently opposed shutdowns,” he said. “In 2013 I said we shouldn’t shut the government down. I went to the floor asking unanimous consent to reopen the government.”

When he was challenged by reporters who said he “stood in the way” and caused the governmental shutdown over his crusade to defund the Affordable Care Act, he said the media “love” to blame shutdowns on Republicans.

“It’s a wonderful media narrative,” he said. “Only one thing actually causes a shutdown. When you have senators who vote to deny cloture on a funding bill. And when that bill comes up, you have a vote. A yes means fund the government. A no means don’t fund the government. In 2013 virtually every single Republican voted to fund the government, including me multiple times, and virtually every — in fact, every single Democrat, I believe, in 2013, voted to shut the government down.”

He said the “same thing” was true of this shutdown and blamed Democrats for opposing a continuing resolution that the House passed Friday that would’ve funded the government for 30 days.

Cruz’s critique of the Democrats — for holding out on funding the government over issues related to CHIP and the legal status of some 700,000 undocumented immigrants — falls in line with attacks he received in 2013 from Democrats and Republicans alike.

In August 2013, he launched a campaign calling on Republicans to oppose any government funding bill that included funding for Obamacare. When it came down to the 11th-hour vote to fund the government that October, Senate Democrats rejected each of the Republican-controlled House’s bills that sought to dismantle Obamacare, prompting a 16-day shutdown. 

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