Rep. Chris Van Hollen: ‘Speaker Cruz’
By: Sarah Smith
July 31, 2014 04:43 PM EDT
Rep. Chris Van Hollen slammed House Republicans on Thursday, saying members now have to check with “Speaker Cruz” to get any legislation passed.
“It was Senator Cruz calling the shots, and that’s why people around here are calling him ‘Speaker Cruz’ today,” the Maryland Democrat said to MSNBC’s Alex Wagner. “It means when Speaker Boehner says he’s going to get something done from now on, he’d better be checking with Senator Cruz to see if he’s gonna get the votes because clearly the new leadership team isn’t up to the task.”
Van Hollen’s jab came as the GOP fought over a border security bill on what was supposed to be the last day of the session for lawmakers - although a vote could now happen Friday. The fight is a test of new House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), who faces embarrassment as the plan flounders.
(Also on POLITICO: House GOP in disarray: A fight over the border bill)
Cruz had made it clear earlier in the week that he opposed the bill as he and other conservatives in the Senate urged their colleagues to reject it, wanting to include a provision about the deferred action policy President Barack Obama enacted in 2012.
“The only way to stop the border crisis is to stop Obama’s amnesty,” Cruz said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. “It is disappointing the border security legislation unveiled today does not include language to end Obama’s amnesty. Congress cannot hope to solve this problem without addressing the fundamental cause of it.”
Van Hollen pointed to the shutdown fight as another example of when Cruz took control of the House, rather than the leadership. “Ted Cruz is once again having his way in the House of Representatives,” Van Hollen said.