Ted Cruz has spent September praising the expansion of Interstate 27 into a “Ports-to-Plains” corridor that will run vertically through Texas. He’s even gone so far as to say he “led” the effort to fund the project, both in a Sept. 1 address at Texas Tech University — video of which was obtained by Heartland Signal — and in a press notice released last Friday.
The only issue is that Cruz actually voted against the bill that funded the project.
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The project was funded earlier this year through the omnibus appropriations bill, which President Biden signed into law on March 15. The Senate passed the bill 68-31 a few days earlier. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) voted for it, but Cruz voted against it.
The White House called out Cruz for trying to claim credit for the project on Wednesday.
“It was a tremendous victory we saw this year,” Cruz says a clip he shared earlier this month, touting that the project would bring “hundreds of thousands of jobs” and “tens of billions of dollars of additional GDP to the state of Texas.”
Senator Cruz voted against this. https://t.co/mht1OgtvwL
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) September 21, 2022
Cruz added that he worked to build a bipartisan coalition to get the project funded, and that he rallied support for an amendment that would have done so earlier this year. “We had an agreement to move forward on that until at the last minute on the infrastructure bill there was an unrelated dispute between Bernie Sanders, a Democrat, and Richard Shelby, a Republican,” Cruz explained. “That unrelated dispute stopped all the amendments, but the good news is that the agreement we built on Cruz-Lujan … enabled us to get it passed in a subsequent bill.”
Cruz is correct that he was a long-time supporter of the project, and that his efforts helped get funding for it into a subsequent piece of legislation. What he has neglected to mention, however, is that he voted against that bill.
In a statement provided to Rolling Stone, Cruz press secretary Dave Vasquez argued that the bill Cruz voted against — and which, again, funded the project he’s claiming credit for — was a “Democrat spending spree that contributed to an economic recession for American families,” and that “Ports-to-Plains could have easily and unanimously passed the Senate as a separate bill, but it was rolled into the pork-filled omnibus package Democrats rammed through Congress.”
Cornyn, who had also been fighting to get Ports-to-Plains funded, also had issues with the bill, but felt it included enough positive provisions to vote for it anyway. “Despite its flaws, despite the crazy process by which we find ourselves here voting on this $1.5 trillion appropriation bill, notwithstanding all the reasons I could cite why maybe I should vote against it, I think there’s enough good in this bill to support it,” he said in explaining his support.
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