The 3-year highway funding bill up for debate in the Senate today has been surrounded by plenty of controversy. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) very publicly lambasted Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for including an amendment to the legislation that would reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, which many conservatives criticize as coporate welfare. Although McConnell also tacked on a vote to repeal Obamacare to somewhat appease his small government-minded colleagues, Cruz scoffed that it was no more than an empty gesture.
Unsurprisingly, the Obamacare repeal vote has failed to reach the 60 votes it needed to progress.
Stay tuned for more updates as the Senate votes on today's highway bill.
Update: In another blow to conservatives, the Senate has voted to reauthorize the Ex-Im bank.
Cruz and other Republicans are incensed not only because McConnell offered the Ex-Im amendment, but also because he rejected their attempts to defund Planned Parenthood, which they tried to do for obvious reasons.
By the way, Republicans determined to stop the president's health care law are not letting today's defeat slow them down. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) has already made clear he will introduce the Obamacare repeal amendment again once the highway funding debate is over.
Update II: Cruz responds. He's not happy.
The American people elected a Republican majority believing it would somehow be different from a Democratic majority.— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) July 26, 2015
Unfortunately the way the Senate currently operates, there is one party: The Washington party. #WashingtonCartel— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) July 26, 2015