In a rare Saturday session, the Senate approved the Cromnibus bill. Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee actually forced the session and guess what? They ended up accidentally doing Pres. Obama a huge favor. From the Washington Post:
Prolonged debate on the spending bill, which passed on a 56-to-40 bipartisan vote, came after Cruz and Lee late Friday night derailed a carefully crafted plan between party leaders to allow senators to go home for the weekend and return Monday to approve the spending agreement. The pair had sought to force a vote that essentially would block federal agencies from implementing the immigration policy changes ordered by Obama last month.
They actually didn’t even get accomplished what they set out to do, but their grandstanding allowed Majority Leader Harry Reid to confirm approximately 20 of Pres. Obama’s nominations. From The Powerline:
Reid blocked the Cruz-Reid request for a vote on blocking Obama’s executive amnesty and angrily clashed with them on the Senate floor, ensuring that debate on the spending bill would spill into Saturday. Then, come Saturday, Reid used the session to begin consideration of around 20 of Obama’s nominees, almost half of whom Republicans had been blocking. Consequently, votes on the nominees will take place on Monday morning.
What if there had not been a Saturday session? According to the Washington Post:
If the Senate had voted Monday on the spending bill under the original agreement, Reid would have had to wait until Monday evening to start processing nominees, and Democrats feared that as the holidays drew closer, more of their ranks would have left town before confirming all the nominees. But with Cruz and Lee’s actions, Democrats were able to accelerate the confirmation process and made it far more likely they could approve every contentious nominee that GOP senators had been blocking.
Democrats are absolutely giddy about Ted Cruz’s contribution. Sen. Chuck Schumer said:
“What Cruz did aided and abetted us getting nominations.”
Republicans? Not so much! Many Republicans actually united with Democrats to reject a point of order that Ted Cruz raised late in the day, which definitely shows their unhappiness with his shenanigans. Bob Corker said this:
“The White House is going to end up with far more nominations confirmed than they ever would have.”
The Powerline lays out for us the nominations that are now “virtually assured.”
They include: Antony Blinken, a longtime adviser to Joe Biden who serves as Obama’s deputy national security adviser, to serve as deputy secretary of state; Sarah Saldana, a U.S. attorney in Texas, to serve as the assistant secretary of homeland security, overseeing enforcement of immigration laws; and Vivek Murthy, a Massachusetts doctor, to serve as surgeon general.
As the Post reminds us, Murthy has been opposed by the NRA for his comments on Twitter about gun violence and gun laws. Blinken has run afoul of John McCain and with good reason, given his role in Obama’s disastrous national security decisions. As for Saldana, she’s the one who will implement the executive amnesty that Cruz and Lee futility attempted to derail.
And that last one is the most perfect of all.