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Ted Cruz

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act Wednesday, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) asked his colleagues to pass a separate resolution that would fund the Department of Defense during the government shutdown.

Director of National Security James Clapper told the committee that the government shutdown resulted in “the suspension of 70 percent of the intelligence community’s civilian workforce.”

Cruz responded, “I don’t believe President Obama should be playing politics with this. He shouldn’t be refusing to negotiate or compromise.”

Even though Senator Cruz has been the lead Republican in Congress persuading his colleagues to vote down any budget proposal that includes funding for the Affordable Care Act — regardless of the consequences for national security, or anything else affected by a government shutdown — he fears these actions may result in an attack on U.S. soil.

He said in Wednesday’s hearing, “If the Senate cooperates, we could get this passed by the end of the day. We could respond to the national security threat these two gentlemens [sic] have laid out. The only impediment to doing so is the prospect that Majority Leader Harry Reid would object to doing so.

“If, God forbid, we see an attack on the United States because the intelligence community was not adequately funded, every member of the committee would be horrified,” he continued. “So I hope issues of partisan politics can be set aside and we can all come together and pass, right now by the end of the day, a continuing resolution to fully fund the Department of Defense and intelligence community.”

Determined to defund the president’s signature health care law, Cruz, along with House Republicans, have refused to pass a budget. The White House has said the president will veto any piecemeal approach to funding certain entities of the government, insisting that a clean continuing resolution that includes full government funding is the only way out of the shutdown.

Watch Cruz’s remarks here:


H/T: Think Progress

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.com

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