Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Republican, took the floor of the Senate on Thursday to condemn the Democratic Party for refusing to fund the Coast Guard — and he couldn’t contain his anger at the partisan politics that has taken over Congress.
Cruz let Senator Chuck Schumer and other Democrats have it — and what he said quickly went viral.
Cruz stood and demanded that Congress put aside their differences and pay the United States Coast Guard, and said they must stop holding our armed services men and women hostage to political bickering.
“We should pay our Coast Guard,” Cruz said. “It is not right that we’re not paying the Coast Guard. Right now, every other military branch is being paid. The Army is being paid. The Navy is being paid. The Air Force is being paid, and the Marines are being paid. But the Coast Guard is NOT being paid, even as they’re risking their lives.”
“Many of us in Texas and along Gulf Coast saw the incredible heroism of the Coast Guard in the wake of Hurricane Harvey,” Cruz continued. “So many brave men and women risked their lives to save thousands upon thousands of innocents.”
“They should be paid!” he said.
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“It’s important for the American people to understand what has happened here, because it’s highly consequential,” Cruz said, addressing the president of the Senate. “It is easy for things to get lost in procedural ‘gobbilty-gook'” where voters could assume the fight was over politics and the wall.
“This has nothing to do with any of that!” he said, saying the bill being proposed is to pay the wages of the Coast Guard and nothing else.
“It simply said, ‘Let’s pay the men and women of the Coast Guard, yes or no.'” Cruz said. “That means you can be a ‘yes’ on that. Whether you think we need to secure the border and build a steel barrier, or whether you believe in open borders, [the bill] doesn’t say anything about any of that. It just says that the men and women of the Coast Guard deserve paychecks.”
“We could have passed that right here, today. And there’s one reason and one reason alone why we didn’t — because Democratic leaders stood up and said, ‘I object.'”
“Democrats are fond of using the phrase, ‘hostage taking.'” Cruz continued. “Well, they are quite literally holding the men and women of the Coast Guard hostage because they want to win a political victory against the president.”
“Their objective here is to have the president back down and have not a single mile of border wall built,” the Texas senator said. “Nevermind that the Democratic leader and every Democrat in this chamber in 2013 voted to build and fund 350-miles of border wall. 350-miles, and every Democrat voted for it.
“We’re in this shutdown today because they are now unwilling to fund 234-miles of border wall — less than they voted for in 2013!”
“Now we understand politics rears it’s head in this business, and Democrats want to defeat the president politically. So, the substance is secondary to trying to get that partisan victory over the president.”
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“We can keep fighting back and forth on whether securing the border, or having open borders, is a good idea,” Cruz said. “But this ought to be an issue that should be real simple.”
The bill is clean that only pays the salaries of the Coast Guard and nothing else, Cruz said.
“If Democratic leadership hadn’t objected, that would have passed right now!” Cruz continued. “The president could have signed it tonight. The paychecks could have gone out right now for every man and woman in the Coast Guard.”
If you’re serving in the Coast Guard, Cruz concluded, “If you want to know why you weren’t’ paid, it is because the Democratic leader objected to you getting a paycheck.”
“It is my hope the Democratic senators will go to their leader and say, ‘This is a bad idea for Democratic senators to hold hostage the paychecks of the men and women of the Coast Guard.'” Cruz said.
“We should pay the Coast Guard, and that ought to be an issue that receives bipartisan support.”
You can see the powerful video here —