Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is warning that the “lame duck” session in December may be used to pass amnesty.
Most lawmakers and aides on Capitol Hill expect the session, which occurs after the midterm election but before newly-elected lawmakers are sworn in, to be largely uneventful. But conservatives have criticized a stop-gap spending bill for expiring in December, and not after the beginning of the next Congress when Republicans may control the Senate.
“A lame duck session occurs after the election and the only reason to have a lame duck session is there are members of Congress from both parties who want to pass terrible legislation and they want to pass tax increases. They want to pass amnesty,” Cruz told radio host David Webb on Sirius-XM’s Patriot 125 on Tuesday night.
“They want to tax the internet and they know the only way to get that done is to do it during a lame duck with members of congress who have just been defeated at the polls and are not coming back, because there is no longer any accountability from the voters.”
Although Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid recently raised the prospect of tackling immigration in the lame duck session, House Republicans – even amnesty proponents – say the idea is a non-starter.
“You know I’m committed to get it done, but this is too big, too controversial to do in a lame duck,” Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) told Breitbart News last week.
Cruz told Webb he believes it is wrong for Congress to have a lame duck session for for anything but “a true emergency.”
“Instead, if anything substantive is going to be considered it should be considered with members of Congress who are still actively serving–still accountable to the voters and will still face them in a coming election,” Cruz said, noting he does not understand reasoning of any House Republican who would want a lame duck session.
Cruz made headlines late last year, when Democrats and some Republicans accused him of causing the government shutdown, following Cruz’s and other conservatives’ refusal to vote for a CR that funded Obamacare. Cruz disagreed, telling the Washington Post it was the Democrats that prompted the shutdown. Cruz now says he believes the lame duck session will start immediately after the elections.
“Republicans are going to take the U.S. Senate and we’re going to retire Harry Reid as majority leader. If that happens, then a lame duck session will be the last chance for Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats to do damage to this country,” he said.
“And why on earth would any House Republican want to pass legislation with Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats, where if you wait one month later we will have one month later a we will have I hope and believe a new Republican majority that can actually respond to the urgent priorities of this country and listen to the voters that elected them. I think a lame duck is a terrible idea and I’m trying to do everything I can to prevent terrible legislation from passing in a lame duck.”