Tags: Ted Cruz | Ted Cruz | Loretta Lynch | attorney general | vote | senate

Ted Cruz on Lynch Confirmation: Not Voting Means a No Vote

By    |   Thursday, 30 Apr 2015 08:32 PM

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, one of three Republicans officially in the race for president, has defended his decision to skip the recent vote to confirm Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Cruz, according to Politico, said not voting was the same as voting no.

"Absence is the equivalent of a no vote," Cruz said.

Cruz was the only senator to skip last week's vote, which saw Lynch confirmed 56-43. She was sworn in Monday and is the first black woman to serve as the nation's top cop.

Cruz voted against the motion to bring Lynch's confirmation to the Senate floor. That passed 66-34 to end the filibuster holding up the final vote, at which point Cruz said he was convinced Lynch's nomination was all but secure.

Cruz "passionately" spoke on the Senate floor the morning of the final vote but had to catch a flight to attend a fundraiser in Texas and left before the vote took place.

"There was no significance to the final vote and I had a scheduling conflict," Cruz said. "Under the Senate rules, absence is the equivalent of a no vote. It is identical procedurally.

"I flew back to Washington to speak on the Senate floor, passionately speaking against confirming Loretta Lynch. But unfortunately, leadership chose to [go] a different direction."

Cruz was referring to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's backstage efforts to secure more than 60 supporters to end the filibuster that was blocking the final vote, a move some say was done to avoid talking about ditching the so-called nuclear option  former Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid put in place in 2013. Under that rule, filibusters stalling final votes for executive and judicial branch nominees require just 51 votes instead of 60.

Twenty Republicans voted to end the filibuster on Lynch's nomination, and 10 voted to confirm her.

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Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, one of three Republicans officially in the race for president, has defended his decision to skip the recent vote to confirm Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
Ted Cruz, Loretta Lynch, attorney general, vote, senate
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2015-32-30
Thursday, 30 Apr 2015 08:32 PM
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