- The Washington Times
Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sen. Ted Cruz said in a closed-door session with colleagues that he was sorry for trying to spark a government shutdown in protest of the $1.1 trillion budget bill and immigration amnesty in a way that upset his colleagues’ schedules — and that he wished he “hadn’t done it,” a source at the meeting said.

Mr. Cruz “was contrite and made an effort to explain to people he wished he hadn’t done it,” the source said, Reuters reported. Specifically, Mr. Cruz apologized “for inconveniencing their personal schedules,” the source said.

A spokeswoman from Mr. Cruz’s office said the senator was not at all sorry for fighting against amnesty, however.

“Yes, the senator acknowledged that a number of his colleagues had to unexpectedly change their weekend plans, and he apologized to them for inconveniencing their personal schedules,” she said in an email. “That was not his intention. … His intention was to secure a vote on President Obama’s illegal executive amnesty and to use every procedural means to do so. He believed — and still believes — that forcing that constitutional vote was critically important, but he apologized for causing any personal hardship.”

The fiery Texas senator stirred some Republican outrage on Friday when he forced the Senate into session — through Saturday — because he refused to let colleagues pass the $1.1 trillion bill. Mr. Cruz was trying to stall the measure to ultimately strip it of its funding for President Obama’s amnesty plan. But his plan backfired, analysts said.

Democratic leaders were allowed to push forward with almost two dozen presidential nominees — some of whom Republicans had wanted to block. And now, a handful of Republicans want to punish Mr. Cruz for keeping the Senate in session and allowing the nominees to go forward, Reuters said.

Among the recommended punishments: Denying Mr. Cruz cushy committee assignments or “blocking him from being able to offer things,” an aide said, Reuters reported.

But Sen. John Cornyn said he’d rather go the “persuasion” route, and not the punishment path.

“One of the good things about being a United States senator is that any individual senator can pursue any tactics that they choose to pursue and there’s not much anybody else can do about it,” Mr. Cornyn said, Reuters reported.

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