WASHINGTON — Sen. Michael Bennet scolded Sen. Ted Cruz on the Senate floor during a fiery speech Thursday. The Colorado Democrat was responding to Cruz’s support of a bill that would pay members of the Coast Guard during the shutdown but would not reopen the government, according to The Hill.
Bennet said he seldom rises on the floor to contradict someone on the other side, as he has “worked very hard over the years to work in a bipartisan way.”
Then, Bennet said that Cruz’s pleas to help the Coast Guard were “crocodile tears.”
“These crocodile tears that the senator from Texas is crying for first responders are too hard for me to take. They’re too hard for me to take,” Bennet said.
Bennet then scolded Cruz for his role in the 2013 shut down, which Cruz helped lead in an effort to halt the funding of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
The 2013 shutdown occurred shortly after the devastating floods that impacted much of Colorado’s Front Range. Boulder and nearby communities were especially hard hit.
“When the senator from Texas shut down the government in 2013, my state was flooded! It was under water! People were killed! People’s houses were destroyed. Their small businesses were ruined forever. And because of the senator from Texas, this government was shut down. For politics,” Bennet said.
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 24, 2019
Bennet said Cruz did not appear to have sympathy for first responders at the time.
The Associated Press reported Friday via the Longmont Daily Times-Call that both Sens. Bennet and Gardner asked leaders of federal agencies to consider the impact of the shutdown when deciding whether to approve deadline extensions for projects, as the recovery efforts from the 2013 floods in Boulder and Larimer counties has been put on hold during the current shutdown.
A short time later in his speech, Bennet went on to criticize President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall.
“I can assure you that in Colorado… if our president said he was to use eminent domain to erect a barrier across the state of Colorado, across the Rocky Mountains of Colorado… he was going to steal the property of our farmers and ranchers to build his medieval wall, there wouldn’t be an elected leader from our state who would support that idea,” Bennet said.
Bennet then said the government is shut down over a promise that the president could not keep, referring to President Trump’s campaign promise to have Mexico pay for the wall.