I really do like having Ted Cruz in the U.S. Senate.
He offers so much grist for folks like me on which to comment.
The freshman Republican senator said this the other day about his absence on a vote that confirmed Loretta Lynch as the latest U.S. attorney general: “Absence is the equivalent of a ‘no’ vote.”
There you have it. He missed the vote because he had a prior commitment to attend a fundraiser back home in Texas. Cruz had voted earlier on a motion to end a filibuster on Lynch’s nomination; he voted to keep the filibuster going.
The filibuster was broken, the vote took place, Lynch had the votes to win confirmation. So, what was the point of Cruz being there to cast his expected “no” vote on Lynch?
Well shoot, senator. It mattered because you didn’t put it on the record. It’s not part of the Senate’s official voting record.
I’m still uncertain precisely why Cruz disapproves so strongly of Lynch’s ascending to the office of attorney general, other than her support of President Obama’s executive order granting temporary amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. I guess Cruz doesn’t much like the notion of an attorney general supporting the policies of the president who appoints her to the Cabinet, where everyone serves at the pleasure of the president of the United States.
That’s been the mantra of other senators who opposed Lynch, even those who said upon the announcement of her appointment that she is “highly qualified.” Some of those former supporters changed their mind when she declared her backing for the president’s action on immigration.
I think it’s strange. Then again, that’s just me.
What the heck. Sen. Cruz was entitled to attend the fundraiser. He’s running for president, after all. Let’s not assume, though, that this issue of non-voting on this confirmation — as well as other key votes he’s missed while campaigning for the White House — will disappear.
It’s the price a sitting member of Congress pays when he or she seeks the highest office in the land. Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton paid it when they ran in 2008. Sen. Cruz can expect the same thing in 2016.