During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump called Ted Cruz a liar, and not-so-subtly, suggested Ted Cruz‘s wife was too ugly to engage in sex. Trump tweeted in March 2016:
Lyin’ Ted Cruz had used a picture of the lovely Melania from a G.Q. shoot in his ad. Be careful, Lyin’ Ted, or I will spill the beans on your wife!
The normally reserved, low-key Senator Michael Bennet, a Democrat from Colorado, screamed about Cruz, a Republican from Texas, in a lengthy tirade on the Senate floor Thursday. Bennet accused Cruz of shedding “crocodile tears” over Coast Guard members not being paid during the government shutdown.
Bennet shouted repeatedly, attacking Cruz over the ongoing shutdown, criticizing him for his part in forcing a government shutdown in 2013 over Obamacare. Bennet:
When the senator from Texas shut this government down in 2013, my state was flooded. People were killed. People’s houses were destroyed. Their small businesses were ruined forever. And because of the senator from Texas, this government was shut down for politics that he surfed to a second-place finish in the Iowa caucuses.
For two weeks in October 2013, the federal government had a shutdown over the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care). Regular government operations resumed after an interim appropriations bill was signed into law. During that shutdown, 800,000 federal employees were indefinitely furloughed, and another 1.3 million were required to report to work without known payment dates.
The previous federal government shutdowns were in 1995 and 1996, the result of conflicts between Democratic President William Jefferson Clinton and the Republican Congress over funding for Medicare, education, the environment, and public health in the 1996 federal budget. The star of that shutdown was Representative Newt Gingrich, a Republican from The Okefenokee Swamp.
It remained the longest government shutdown in American history until our government shutdown surpassed it on January 12.
Bennet’s diatribe came after Cruz and other Republicans attempted to pass legislation to pay members of the Coast Guard who have not had a paycheck during the government shutdown, now in its 34th day. Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat from New York, blocked the effort, calling for Republicans to vote to open the entire government instead. Cruz attacked Schumer, saying Democrats were holding members of the Coast Guard “hostage”.
Bennet also attacked Trump, calling it:
…ludicrous that the government remains shut down over a promise the president of the United States couldn’t keep, and that America is not interested in having them keep.
He was alluding to the president’s campaign promise that Mexico would pay for that damn wall. Bennet shouted: “This idea that Democrats are for open borders is gibberish!”
Cruz fired back after Bennet was done, saying those without facts or law on their side of an argument “bang the table”. Cruz:
If you have the facts, you bang the facts. If you have the law, you bang the law. If you don’t have either one, you bang the table. We’ve seen a whole lot of table-banging right here on this floor. The senator from Colorado spent a great deal of time yelling, spent a great deal of time attacking me personally. We’ve seen a whole lot of table banging right here on this floor. The senator from Colorado spent a great deal of time yelling, spent a great deal of time attacking me personally.
That is a lot of banging, but none for poor Heidi Cruz.
Cruz added that he did not remember ever having yelled at a colleague on the Senate floor, though he once used his loud voice to accuse Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of lying.