Cruz Says He'll Vote for Republican CCP Virus Relief Bill

Cruz Says He'll Vote for Republican CCP Virus Relief Bill
Senate Judiciary Subcommittee Chairman Ted Cruz (R-Texas) speaks during a hearing in Washington on Aug. 4, 2020. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Zachary Stieber
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said Wednesday he plans to vote for a Senate bill aimed at providing relief from the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus outbreak.

“I expect to vote for the more targeted relief bill,” Cruz said during a virtual appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

“I expect that we will get all or virtually all of the Republicans. But sadly we’re going to get very few, if any, Democrats,” he added.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said he would vote against the legislation but no other Republicans have come out against it publicly. Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) indicated support for it on the Senate floor on Wednesday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he planned to hold a vote on the legislation on Thursday.

“The bill does not contain every idea our party likes. I am confident Democrats will feel the same,” McConnell said. “Yet Republicans believe the many serious differences between our two parties should not stand in the way of agreeing where we can agree and making law that helps our nation.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she doesn’t support the legislation. In a joint statement with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), she said the bill “doesn’t come close to addressing the problems and is headed nowhere.”

Cruz said the current deadlock between the chambers shows “the sad reality of how Washington is operating right now.”

“I don’t think that Congress is going to end up passing anything between now and Election Day,” he said.

“Pelosi and Schumer have calculated that if they maximize economic pain, that if they have the most Americans home and broke and unemployed and pissed off, that that benefits their party and it helps Joe Biden. I think that’s a cynical approach.”

McConnell told reporters after a Senate Republican luncheon later Wednesday that Democratic leaders “don’t want to do a deal before the election because they think somehow that adversely affects their prospects in the election.”

He said he believes most Republicans will support the package and hopes some Democrats will.

If the bill falls short, negotiations between Pelosi and Schumer and White House representatives will have to resume, McConnell said.

Pelosi, when asked who she is negotiating with, told Bloomberg’s “Balance of Power” late Tuesday: “In terms of the negotiation, the Republicans have to negotiate among themselves. Mitch McConnell has this pathetic bill, which is half of what Secretary Mnuchin has proposed. They are not even in agreement. They are in disarray.”

Jack Phillips contributed to this report.