ted-cruz-2

Cruz Accuses GOP Leadership of Playing Santa for Lobbyists

Cruz told the Friday rally that Republican leadership was "playing Santa Claus to the lobbyists and K Street and the special interests." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

MECHANICSVILLE, Va. —  Minutes after taking a photo with Santa Claus and wishing him well on Christmas Eve, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz turned Grinch on Republicans on Capitol Hill who backed the omnibus spending bill that cleared earlier Friday.  

"Now, it's Christmastime, so it was Republican leadership playing Santa Claus to the lobbyists and K Street and the special interests, and it's why people are fed up with the Washington cartel," the Texas Republican told reporters before a packed house at the Life Church in suburban Richmond.  

Cruz Remarks Draw Intel Panel Attention

Burr said the committee was reviewing Cruz's comments. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard M. Burr said his staff was reviewing comments about the Patriot Act's metadata program made by Sen. Ted Cruz during Tuesday's GOP presidential debate.  

Burr said that any time there are specific references to numbers related to intelligence programs it sets off concerns among those who handle classified information, but a review is necessary to determine if there was an open source for the data.  

Did Ted Cruz Disclose Classified Information?

Cruz and Rubio sparred over possibly classified information at the debate Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Did Sen. Ted Cruz disclose classified information on national television?  

Those without access to the intelligence itself probably won't know for sure, but that seemed to be the implication in the reaction from presidential campaign rival and fellow Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., during a portion of Tuesday's CNN debate that focused on their differing views on the scope of National Security Agency surveillance programs. Rubio said that in transitioning to a system without bulk collection of phone metadata that existed under the Patriot Act, the intelligence community lost tools to prevent terrorist attacks. That prompted Cruz, a Texas Republican, to snap back.  

Trump Comments Spark Senate Fireworks

Sessions said immigration policy should be mindful of security risks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo.)

"Is it in the national interest to admit the ISIS member equally with the Buddhist?"  

That was one of the rhetorical questions from Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, as the Senate Judiciary Committee debated religious tests for immigrants, and a Senate hearing room became the latest venue for a rebuke to Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump.  

Cruz Strikes Back on Rubio's Patriot Act Attacks

Cruz is hitting back on criticism from his presidential rival Rubio. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Facing accusations from Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida that he's supported weakening surveillance powers, presidential rival and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas hit back against his rival on Thursday.  

The two Republican presidential candidates have been at each other over their differing views on reauthorization of provisions of the Patriot Act. The provisions in question involve the bulk collection of telephone metadata by the National Security Agency. Rubio is in a contingent led by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., that is blasting people who supported ending the bulk collection, claiming the practice is key to fighting terrorist threats.  

GOP Elders Critical of Trump's Muslim Comments

McConnell walks back to his office after the weekly Senate Republican luncheon news conference on Tuesday. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did not wait to be asked about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's call to exclude Muslims from entering the United States.  

Before turning to the upcoming passage of an education overhaul and end-of-the-year business, the Kentucky Republican on Tuesday said the proposal  was "completely and totally inconsistent with American values."  

Capitol Food Workers Escalate Protests in Senate

Capitol workers gather before heading to Cruz's office. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Dozens of Capitol food workers went on strike Tuesday, demanding to negotiate higher wages with their management and taking their message to other Senate workspace, specifically calling on Sen. Ted Cruz, who sits on the committee that oversees their contract, to support their push for better pay and union representation.  

The workers flooded the Texas Republican's office, and the hallway outside, to award Cruz the "Golden Grinch" award, and bring attention to their effort for a $15 an hour wage and collective bargaining rights.

Ted Cruz, Condoms and Bathroom Politics

Cruz has made outreach to social conservatives a cornerstone of his presidential campaign. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Ted Cruz was in a groove in Iowa Monday, weighing in on issues that underscore his efforts to appeal to socially conservative voters in the nation's first caucus state.  

The Texas Republican did so by blasting the Department of Education for allowing a transgender student to use a girl's locker room — and even weighed in on the availability of prophylactics in America, soundbites that could have been lead news in their own right on most any other day.  

Mike Lee in the Middle of Reconciliation Battle

Lee, center, is joining fellow Republicans Rubio, left, and Cruz in pushing leadership on the Affordable Care Act. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Mike Lee will find himself in the middle of the debate on the Affordable Care Act on Monday, as well as between two colleagues running for president.  

The Utah Republican and chairman of the  Senate Steering Committee is joining fellow Republicans Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida in their opposition to anything short of a full repeal of the law. The topic will likely come up in a meeting Monday of Senate Republicans, and the chamber could begin debating it under the budget reconciliation process as early as Dec. 2.  

Does Obamacare Repeal Have a Senate Path Without the Mandates?

Cruz, Lee and Rubio have previously expressed concerns about a reconciliation bill that doesn't fully repeal Obamacare. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The search is on for 51 Senate votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, raising questions about whether the House’s attempt to use the budget reconciliation process to do so will succeed.  

Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, both presidential candidates, and Sen. Mike Lee are on record that they “cannot support” a bill that doesn’t “fully repeal” the health care law. The offices of Cruz and Rubio referred CQ Roll Call back to a joint statement from three weeks ago when asked for a response to Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough’s ruling this week that Obamacare’s employer and individual mandates fail the test for inclusion in a reconciliation bill. The budget reconciliation process is the only filibuster-proof option available to Senate Republicans, who control the chamber with 54 votes. That’s why there is little room to spare if Cruz, Rubio and Lee balk.