Both Republican president candidates Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., plan to use rare procedural moves to outwit Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell R-Ky. If successful, the Republican presidential candidates will undermine McConnell's leadership and fuel campaigns that have lost ground in the wake of the constant media attention on fellow candidate Donald Trump's controversial immigration comments.
McConnell hopes to move a "must-pass," multi-billion dollar federal highway bill through the Senate quickly and block other senators from adding amendments that are popular with the Republican base, although he has added an amendment to the bill that would reauthorize the deeply unpopular Export-Import Bank.
On Friday Cruz took the Senate floor to denounce McConnell and accuse him of "flat-out" lying when he added the Ex-Im Bank amendment and refused other amendments in a video that quickly went viral. Cruz wants McConnell to allow an amendment that keeps Iran sanctions until the Islamic Republic recognizes Israel and frees four American hostages.
"Well, we now know that when the majority leader looks us in the eyes and makes an explicit commitment that he is willing to say things that he knows are false," Cruz said on the Senate floor. "That has consequences for how this body operates. If you or I cannot trust what the majority leader tells us, that will have consequences on other legislation, as well as on how this institution operates."