Anyone listening to the pundits has heard that one of Ted Cruz’s greatest liabilities as a presidential candidate is that no one likes him, not even his fellow senators, with whom he refuses to compromise. That reputation was reinforced this week as headlines declared, “Cruz holding up Flint aid deal in Senate.”
— Vikki Marshall (@VikkiMarshall4) February 25, 2016
Ted Cruz is holding up the Flint water bill in the Senate. Must be his Christian values (sarcasm).
— infinite cowboy? Ⓥ (@SithLordTrials) February 26, 2016
— Carlos M Vizcarra (@CarlosMVizcarra) February 25, 2016
@tedcruz Ted Cruz is holding up the Flint aid bill. That is really a Christian thing to do. This is how he helps the poor. A new Katrina.
— Littlechitownfinance (@North1j) February 26, 2016
Here's an idea: Let's help Ted Cruz "study the issue" by flooding his office with tap water from Flint. https://t.co/qJ5ZMUj9VR
— Will McAvoy (@WillMcAvoyACN) February 25, 2016
Although some senators have said the “soft hold” on the Flint aid bill will hurt Cruz on the campaign trail, Politico reports that other Republicans also may have holds on the bill, and not without reason:
The issue for Republicans may have more to do with concerns over how Congress spends federal dollars in emergency situations than anything particular to Flint or drinking water infrastructure in general.
“This isn’t a referendum on Flint per se,” a senior Senate GOP aide said. “This is a referendum on the process.”
Those aren’t empty words. The Associated Press reports that under a tentative agreement, the Senate would vote on an energy bill moving through the Senate before taking up the Flint aid package as a separate bill.
That energy bill, “the first comprehensive legislation of its kind in nearly a decade, promotes a wide range of energy sources, from renewables such as solar and wind power to natural gas and hydropower” and also “speed federal approval of projects to export liquefied natural gas to Europe and Asia and boost energy efficiency.”
So, a bill pushing solar and wind power is blocking the Senate from moving forward on the Flint bill?
Politico, which has caused so much vitriol to be directed toward Cruz, adds:
Supporters of the Flint package are asking their colleagues to unanimously agree to a deal that would allow them to first complete work on the energy bill, which stalled over the aid dispute. That would include working through 38 energy bill amendments, including 30 by voice and eight that would require 60 votes.
Looks like Ted Cruz isn’t acting by himself just to deny clean water to children.
In case you're wondering about the Senate's holding pattern. It's about Flint https://t.co/IZIqf9trB6
— Niels Lesniewski (@nielslesniewski) February 24, 2016
The Flint aid deal is intertwined with a pretty massive energy bill with dozens of amendments. It's never simple here.
— Niels Lesniewski (@nielslesniewski) February 25, 2016