Sen. Ted Cruz will face a tougher battle this time as he attempts to lead a Republican charge against the president's immigration policy amid threats of a government shutdown, The Wall Street Journal reported.
A year ago, the Texas Republican muscled his way front and center to force government to a halt, but his power has likely waned as the GOP prepares to take over the Senate and as House Speaker John Boehner seeks to avoid a repeat of the tea party-supported shutdown, the Journal said.
This go-round, Cruz is trying to use his conservative might in Washington to block the president's executive and judicial nominations and to also defund government to keep the president's new amnesty plan from moving ahead, the Journal noted of his strategy.
The House, however, appears on track to avoid any government shutdown, even as Cruz rallied conservatives last week to fight back against Obama and "stand up" for principles, The Hill noted.
Bloomberg, however, said Cruz's tactics had "no end game" as he seeks to somehow differentiate the most conservative lawmakers from their get-along peers.
"For them, it’s not about policy gains; it’s about being True Conservatives, which means constantly needing to differentiate themselves from the RINOs and squishes that make up the bulk of the Republican Party," wrote Bloomberg's Jonathan Bernstein in a column describing the "shutdown trap."
"The problem? There are no Rockefeller moderates or liberal Republicans remaining, and very few moderate conservatives, either," Bernstein noted. "On ideal policy preferences, there just isn’t much separating Cruz from, say, Marco Rubio or Scott Walker or John Kasich or Bobby Jindal or even Mike Pence. So to maintain that True Conservative distinction, Cruz and other radicals must constantly find new and more difficult hoops for regular normal conservatives to fail to leap through."
The coming weeks will expose who is willing to stand on Cruz's side to push back on Obama and who hopes to wait until next year to work on any immigration reform changes, the Journal noted, describing him now as an "army of one."
But Cruz said his plan is important to work through now, not wait until next year.
"Even with a Republican House and Senate, the same folks who are saying 'Gosh, we can’t do anything now,' in January are going to say, 'Gosh, we don’t have 60 votes in the Senate,'" Cruz said, according to the Journal. "It’s like Charlie Brown and Lucy where constantly the same voices pull the football aside."
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