(CNSNews.com) - The decision to pass a "cromnibus" spending bill "is a strategy that came from Republican leadership," Sen. Ted Cruz told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday. "I said at the time it is a bad plan, and it is a plan that is designed to lose."
Cruz said he "fought tooth and nail against the cromnibus in December -- because I said in December this gives up our leverage and it puts us into effectively a boxed canyon. So I would say it's now up to leadership to lay out their strategy. I told them this was not a winning strategy and they went down this road anyway."
The so-called "cromnibus" is a spending plan that funds most of government through September with an omnibus spending bill. But the Department of Homeland Security is funded with a short-term continuing resolution, which runs out at the end of February. Republicans added an amendment to the DHS funding bill intended to block money for President Obama's unilateral changes to immigration law, but Senate Democrats refuse to pass that DHS funding bill unless the immigration rider is removed.
"What we saw last week was stunning irresponsibility from the Senate Democrats," Cruz said.
"The Senate Democrats three times filibustered funding for the Department of Homeland Security. We have a bill on the floor to fund DHS. And three times the Democrats stood together filibustered and said, we will not allow the Senate to take up this bill. At a time of growing national security threats across the world, that's irresponsible."
CNN's Dana Bash noted that Cruz, last December, wanted to use a short-term resolution to fund all of government, not just DHS, to give Republicans more leverage on blocking Obama's executive amnesty.
The crominbus "was a compromise to try to work around that," she said, but Republicans don't have enough votes to get the House-passed bill through the Senate.
"Well, Dana, number one, we need to fund the Department of Homeland Security," Cruz said. "The Democrats need to stop holding national security hostage for partisan political objectives. What they're doing is wrong and irresponsible.
"Number two, when it comes to amnesty -- amnesty, the president's executive amnesty is wrong, it's illegal and it's unconstitutional."
Cruz said seven Democrats publicly criticized the president's plan to go around Congress and give work authorization to millions of illegal immigrants: "They told their constituents they didn't support the president ignoring federal law, ignoring the constitution and unilaterally and illegally granting amnesty to 4- to 5-million people here illegally.
"I think we need to tee it up and give those Senate Democrats an opportunity to go on record to demonstrate...whether they were telling the truth when they were talking to the voters back home or whether they'll just stand with President Obama instead."
Cruz said Senate Democrats, for the past six years, have proved the they are unwilling to take on the president. "It's part of why Harry Reid and the Democrats shut down the Senate. And I've got to say, it's unprecedented.
"I mean, look, Dana, if there's one thing that I think you would acknowledge I've been willing to do is take on my own party when my own party is not standing for the principles we're supposed to stand for. It is time to see some Senate Democrats willing to take on their own president but right now they're putting partisan politics ahead of principle and that's why they're filibustering the funding for Homeland Security. It's the wrong thing to be doing."
Cruz told ABC's "This Week" that Republicans "need to honor the commitment we made to the voters, and that means we need to fund DHS and we also need to act effectively to stop President Obama's illegal and unconstitutional executive amnesty."
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