Fox News host Chris Wallace pointed out to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Sunday that his latest scheme to shut down part of the government would prevent Attorney General Eric Holder’s replacement from being confirmed.
During an interview on Fox News Sunday, Cruz explained his plan defund the Department of Homeland Security if President Barack Obama refuses to rescind an executive action that grants legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants.
“The problem is that’s almost exactly what you did with the government shutdown across the entire government in October of 2013 in Obamacare, and it backfired badly on your party,” Wallace observed.
“We should use the checks and balances that we have to rein in the abuse of power of the executive,” Cruz insisted, adding that step one of his plan was for the Senate to stop the confirmation of any of the president’s nominees for the rest of his term if they were not “vital” to national security.
“Are you saying that the Senate should refused to confirm Loretta Lynch, the president’s new nominee for attorney general?” Wallace wondered. “And, thereby, leave Eric Holder, who you don’t like very much, in that position even longer.”
Cruz, however, ignored the question about Holder, and instead charged that President Obama was ruling “by dictate and decree rather than following the Constitution.”
Earlier this year, the Tea Party-backed senator had gone so far as to call for Holder to be impeached.
“It is good news that Eric Holder has announced his resignation,” Cruz said in a statement at the time. “Sadly, he has proven to be the most partisan attorney general in our history, repeatedly defying and refusing to enforce the law.”
But on Sunday, Cruz insisted that Senate Majority Leader-elect Mitch McConnell “should decline to bring to the floor of the Senate any nomination other than vital national security positions.”
“And the second big constitutional power we’ve got is the power of the purse,” he continued. “And we should fund, one at a time, the critical priorities of the federal government, but also use the power of the purse to attach riders [that would defund DHS].”
“But you’re willing to shut down departments, and you’re willing to take the backlash?” the Fox News host noted. “I mean, it didn’t work very well with Obamacare, sir.”
For his part, Cruz argued that his 2013 government shutdown was responsible for Republicans winning control of the Senate in 2014.
“The number one issue that candidate campaigned on across the country was Obamacare,” he said. “Now, it was a mistake for President Obama and Harry Reid to force a government shutdown, but it was not a mistake for Republicans to stand up and fight on Obamacare.”
Watch the video below from Fox News’ Fox News Sunday, broadcast Nov. 23, 2014.