— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) January 22, 2018
As we move toward House and Senate votes to reopen the government after its weekend disco nap, it’s good to know that the architect of the 2013 government shutdown to defund Obamacare, Texas Senator and then-de facto Speaker of the House Ted Cruz, has decided he had nothing to do with that earlier government shutdown, because duh, of course he couldn’t have. Democrats are always to blame for government shutdowns, didn’t you know that?
As Cruz explained to a press gaggle today, he had never even once voted against funding the government in 2013, depending on what the meaning of “voted against” is.
In 2013, I voted repeatedly to fund the government and in 2013 it was Harry Reid and the Democrats who voted “no,” who voted to shut the government down, just like this week: Republicans voted to fund the government and it was Chuck Schumer and the Democrats who voted to shut the government down […] We should not be shutting the government down. I have consistently opposed shutdowns. In 2013, I said we shouldn’t shut the government down. Indeed, I went to the floor, repeatedly asking unanimous consent to reopen the government.
Oh, so very close! Except totally not really! Ted Cruz was instrumental in convincing the House Freedom Caucus to include a poison pill in its version of a continuing resolution in 2013, which would have defunded the Affordable Care Act. True, he didn’t vote for that bill, because he was in the Senate, but it was his baby. (He did, however, hijack the Senate for 21 hours so he could read Green Eggs And Ham, that memorable Dr. Seuss fable about never trying something you don’t think you’ll like, and then proclaiming victory.) Once the CR got to the Senate, then still controlled by Democrats, they removed the language killing Obamacare, and Cruz was among the Republicans who voted against removing those amendments — in effect, voting for a shutdown, though on the losing side.
The Senate passed the CR that retained Obamacare funding and sent it back to the House, which kept passing successive versions with even more anti-ACA amendments. The Senate refused to vote on any of them (and even if they had approved it, Barack Obama would have vetoed them), and so the government shut down.
So, yes, Ted, you voted against the bill to keep the government open. You really did. And once the government was shut down, Cruz also voted against the Senate bill that ultimately reopened the government, too.
MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt called out Cruz for being a lying liar: “Sir, you stood in the way of that […] That’s simply not the case.”
Cruz wasn’t about to let some crazy media lady lie about the spin he wanted to give his repeated efforts to reopen the government with Obamacare defunded:
That’s factually incorrect. It’s a wonderful media narrative. But 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.
Still confused? (Your editrix is! She is just going to assume the preceding all made sense.) Fortunately, Fox News factchecker Shep Smith closed the historical debate about Cruz’s role in the 2013 shutdown with his most effective weapon: Withering sarcasm.
On Fox today, Smith played The One Honest Man On Fox again, mocking Cruz’s claim from earlier in the day:
He’s very much against shutdowns.I heard him say it today so I know it’s true. Green Eggs and Ham.
There you go with your non-alternative facts again, Shep. You’re walking a dangerous road, man.
And now it is your OPEN THREAD!