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Senate Is Working Again Despite Ted Cruz and Co., McConnell Says (Video)

McConnell touted the productivity of his Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell touted the new Senate under his leadership Thursday — one with far more productivity and votes than under his predecessor — and he isn't about to let Ted Cruz, or anyone else, derail it.  

"For any of our members, there are a lot of procedural tools available to slow things down, and they've been used frequently and we worked our way through every one of them," McConnell said when asked about Cruz talking up efforts to hold up federal funding and the debt limit . McConnell: No Shutdown Over Planned Parenthood

"We worked our way through it on the highway bill, we worked our way through it on the ... victims of trafficking bill.  

"It's easy for any senator to make it more difficult to pass bills. It's routine around here. Which is why the Senate doesn't do things as quickly as the House. But we've been able to surmount those kinds of challenges all year long that have been thrown out by one senator or another or one side or another, and we still have an extraordinary record of accomplishment and we have a lot more left to do."  

McConnell pointed in particular to the votes that have already occurred so far this year.  

"We had 15 roll call votes on amendments in all of 2014. We had, so far this year, over 160 in the first half of the year, which is more than the last two years combined," he said.  

"What I've tried to do is to emphasize things upon which there was some bipartisan agreement and bills that were big enough to be worth doing," he said.  

"We passed a budget. That's not a bipartisan exercise, typically, and it wasn't this year. But we've also done the Iran Nuclear Review Act, Trade Promotion Authority, a rewrite of No Child Left Behind, a multiyear highway bill. ... Clearly, the Senate is up and running and trying to focus on things where we can make progress."  

Tamar Hallerman and Emma Dumain contributed to this report.

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