Ted Cruz was a fierce defender of Trade Promotion Authority. Now, he is fighting against it.
In a blistering op-ed in Breitbart, Cruz announced Tuesday he no longer plans to support Trade Promotion Authority, legislation he voted for weeks that gives Congress an up-or-down vote on trade bills the president negotiates over the next six years. Citing concerns over immigration and "corrupt Washington backroom deal-making," Cruz reversed his position just hours before the Senate was poised to hold a procedural vote on the bill.
"Why does Republican Leadership always give in to the Democrats? Why does Leadership always disregard the promises made to the conservative grassroots?" Cruz wrote.
In order to back the bill, Cruz demanded he get immigration amendments that would block changes in immigrant flows from being included in any future trade bill as well as an explicit promise from Republican leaders that they would let the controversial Export-Import Bank expire at the end of the month. The unrelated Ex-Im Bank issue has become a rallying call for outside groups like Heritage Action, which scored against the House trade vote partly because leaders would not assure conservatives that the bank would cease.