Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), perhaps the biggest cheerleader behind the 2013 government shutdown over his fierce opposition to the Affordable Care Act, is (surprise!) suddenly no longer a fan of government shutdowns.
“Okay, they hate Donald Trump,” Cruz said, referring to his Democratic colleagues. “If anyone in America had missed that point, that they really, really don’t like this man, their yelling, screaming, and bellowing has made that abundantly clear.”
“But just because you hate somebody shouldn’t mean you should shut the government down,” the Texas senator continued. He went on to cast Democrats as the singular hurdle to reopening the government, thus blocking federal workers from receiving paychecks.
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 24, 2019
Those remarks, which ostensibly ignore Cruz’s own marquee role in shutting down the government not too long ago, proved too much for Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), whose impassioned speech followed and was quickly swept up and shared on Twitter.
“I have worked very hard over the years to work in a bipartisan way with the presiding officer with my Republican colleagues, but these crocodile tears that the senator from Texas is crying for first responders are too hard for me to take,” Bennet said.
“When the senator from Texas shut this government down in 2013, my state was flooded,” he continued, his voice rising in anger. “It was under water! People were killed! People’s houses were destroyed! Their small businesses were ruined forever! Because of the senator from Texas, this government was shut down for politics.”
Bennet was referencing the Colorado floods that had devastated the state just one month before the 2013 shutdown began, leaving state officials struggling to keep relief operations alive.
Condemning President Donald Trump’s “medieval” plans to build a border wall, Bennet continued to rebuke Republicans for shutting down the government in order to help the president make good on a signature campaign promise. “How ludicrous it is that this government is shut down over a promise the president of the United States couldn’t keep—and America is not even interested in having him keep.”
Watch a portion of Bennet’s speech below: