HOT AIR – Do understand, this isn’t a matter of Mitch McConnell freezing out his old nemesis on what’s going on in the Senate. Cruz has been working with McConnell and others for months on drafting a plan. He’s organized numerous meetings of a Republican “working group” with participants from across the GOP’s ideological spectrum and has repeatedly proclaimed his willingness to compromise to get something done. It’s all part of a political makeover. Having alienated so many colleagues before the 2016 presidential primaries with his anti-establishment no-compromise approach, Cruz is angling to rebuild relationships before his next run in 2024. He was derided last year as a grandstander whose biggest “achievement” was ringleading the futile 2013 shutdown to block the implementation of ObamaCare. Now he’s aiming to be known as the man who midwifed an unlikely health-care meeting of the minds between conservatives like him, Rand Paul, and Mike Lee and the Susan Collinses and Lisa Murkowskis in the caucus. The principled obstructionism of Cruz 1.0 was swept away last spring by Trump along with so many other tea-party conceits. Cruz 2.0 will be more of a can-do politician willing to make the best deals, deals so great you won’t believe it. If he pulls it off, he’ll have quite a feather in his cap for his Senate reelection campaign next year.
Unless, of course, the country roundly hates the final bill that lands on Trump’s desk. But what are the odds of that?
Anyway. The point is that Cruz is a critical player in getting something through the Senate — yet here he is last night, with McConnell promising a draft bill tomorrow, telling Mark Levin that he has no idea what’s in the bill yet. Essentially he and every other Republican in the “working group” haven’t been working on an actual bill; what they’ve been working on are demands which they’ve then submitted to McConnell and the leadership team to accommodate in the form of a legislative product. If McConnell sticks to his schedule of holding a vote next Thursday, Cruz and allies like Mike Lee will have one short week to read the bill, demand changes, spend a few hours debating it on the floor, and then face a gut-check on whether to pass the revised version, assuming that there are revisions. It’s embarrassingly opaque procedural sleight of hand…
Indeed! We have a vivid recollection of then Speaker Pelosi saying that they had to pass the ACA for people to know what’s was in the bill. And now, seven years later, after no debate, no specifics, no awareness by senators, and keeping the public in the dark. the republicans are doing precisely what they criticized democrats for. To which we say, HYPOCRITES!