Ted Cruz — Third Party Whip


Ted Cruz is rallying Republican House members to oppose John Boehner’s pseudo-border security bill.  The Speaker’s bill does not defund Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program  (DACA).  Cruz is being joined in his opposition by Senator Jeff Sessions.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), an influential tea party leader, will meet with a group of House Republicans Wednesday to urge them to oppose House Speaker John A. Boehner’s plan to stem the flow of migrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border, according to several House members who plan to attend the 7 p.m. gathering at Cruz’s office.

Cruz’s huddle is the latest example of the combative freshman senator wading into House affairs and serving as an informal whip against the leadership’s immigration position. It is also a direct shot at Boehner’s effort to pass his legislative package, hours before the bill is scheduled to come to the House floor on Thursday.

On Friday, the House adjourns for a five-week recess, leaving Boehner little time to cobble together the votes necessary to pass his proposal. “I think there is sufficient support in the House,” Boehner (R-Ohio) said after a meeting of the House Republican Conference on Tuesday. But he added, “We have a little more work to do.”

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) will be at Cruz’s closed-press session, as will more than a dozen other House Republicans. Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.), a member of the House GOP’s working group on the border, is also planning to attend.

An aide to Boehner declined Wednesday to comment on Cruz’s activities.

[Cruz whipping tonight against Boehner border bill, by Robert Costa, Washington Post, July 30, 2014]

The intervention of a Senator in the affairs of the House to disrupt the leadership of his own party is extraordinary.  The cracks within the GOP are widening–and immigration is the issue causing it.  A de facto immigration patriot caucus is being formed–if not the seed of a Third Party.