Republicans in Congress often seem to struggle with the concept of hypocrisy, like in the case of the multiple Republicans serving in the national legislature who saw large government loans forgiven in the Paycheck Protection Program — and then complained about a plan from the Biden team for the forgiveness of student debt at a per person level lower than what Reps. Matt Gaetz (Fla.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) enjoyed.
Now, it’s infrastructure, although not the bipartisan infrastructure deal signed into law by the president last year and providing for job-producing initiatives quite literally across the country. In an appropriations bill passed earlier this year (in March) to which additional aid for Ukraine was attached, Senators approved federal support for something called the Ports to Plains highway project, which Cruz has stated will connect areas in Texas with locales much father north. The ongoing initiative involves various highway improvements, and a designation the Senate approved of the highway as a “future interstate” allows for certain federal support (meaning funds). Cruz has promoted the effort, including with a September 12 post on Twitter captioned: “The Ports to Plains highway will run from Laredo all the way up to North Dakota and into Canada. This project will bring jobs to Texas and millions of dollars to the state. A great bipartisan victory!” Here’s the problem: Cruz voted against the bill containing this initiative.
“Senator Cruz voted against this,” the official White House Twitter account noted Wednesday. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Cruz’s fellow Texan in the U.S. Senate, voted for the bill, but not Cruz. Cruz co-sponsored the initiative, in the form of an amendment, alongside Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) amid negotiations over the spending package, per The Guardian, but that involvement — for which Cruz wasn’t fundamentally irreplaceable — didn’t lead to a vote in favor. Cruz told a Texas journalist that he was concerned about other elements of the eventually formulated spending legislation. “That happens frequently in the United States Senate, where you end up working to get agreement and to pass a particular piece of legislation, but then it gets rolled into a giant bill that has a whole bunch of good things and bad things,” as he put it.
The problem is Cruz is basically taking credit. “I was proud to champion this initiative to extend I-14 and designate I-27, the Ports-to-Plains Corridor, as a future addition to the interstate highway system,” he said. “This is a $55 billion project that will create hundreds of thousands of jobs and will bring tens of billions of dollars of additional GDP to the state of Texas. It was a great bipartisan victory for Texas, and I was proud to bring it across the finish line.” Except he didn’t — the people who voted for the final legislation did so. (The I-14 extension was another amendment originally introduced with Georgia Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock for another bill: the bipartisan infrastructure law which Cruz also voted against!)