U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz was one of 19 Republican senators who voted against a bipartisan bill intended to stave off a looming government shutdown.
Cruz’s vote broke from that of fellow Texas Republican U.S. Sen. John Cornyn. What’s more, it defied guidance from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who warned fellow GOP lawmakers that voting against the package would let FEMA disaster relief expire as wildfires and floods ravage parts of the country.
The bipartisan bill, approved Tuesday night, would keep the government funded through Nov. 17 to allow more time to negotiate funding for federal programs through the next fiscal year. The measure included $6 billion in aid for Ukraine and another $6 billion in U.S. disaster relief.
Unsurprisingly, Democrats targeting Cruz’s seat in the 2024 election cycle took aim at his refusal to support the bipartisan proposal.
“Ted Cruz wants to keep our systems broken,” tweeted Texas Sen. Roland Gutierrez, a San Antonio Democrat, who’s running against the two-term incumbent. “He voted against fixing our grid and keeping our schools safe from gun violence. Now he’s voting to hurt Texans by shutting down the government.”
In an emailed statement, U.S. Rep. Colin Allred, a North Texas Democrat running against Cruz, accused the senator of being more interested in appealing to “far-right podcasters” than his constituents.
“If Ted Cruz had his way, funding would immediately come to a halt for everything from health care for Texas veterans to the personnel and resources keeping our border secure from drug smuggling,” Allred said. “This extreme partisanship has real-world consequences, and working families in Texas have borne the brunt of Ted Cruz’s political games for too long. We can, and must, replace him next year.”
It’s unclear whether Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy will bring the U.S. House version of the Senate spending legislation to the floor, since the most extreme flank of his party has threatened to oust him if he does. Without House approval of new funding, the federal government will shut down at 12:01 a.m. ET Sunday.