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- Sen. Ted Cruz
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colorado) is normally a mild-mannered man, but he let loose on Thursday. Clearly frustrated by the government shutdown — now the longest in U.S. history — Bennet zeroed in on Cruz after the Texas senator gave a speech blaming Democrats for federal employees' furloughs and threw his support behind a bill that would only pay Coast Guard members during the shutdown.
"These crocodile tears that the senator from Texas is crying for the first responders are too hard for me to take," Bennet said.
Part of his frustration came from Cruz's demand to defund Obamacare, which led to the 2013 government shutdown.
"When the senator from Texas shut this government down, my state was flooded," Bennet said, his voice reportedly growing into a yell. "It was underwater. People were killed."
During Cruz's 16-day shutdown, the federal government's emergency funds were paused during Colorado catastrophic flooding. Houses and small businesses were destroyed, Bennet pointed out. A report from the Washington Post said the Democrat went on for nearly 25 minutes, letting loose his frustration with President Trump, his proposed border wall, immigration policy and the Freedom Caucus.
Bennet also said Trump's holdout for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border "is a joke." He said Trump "wants $5 billion to build some antiquated medieval wall that he said Mexico would pay for."
However, Bennet ended his speech on a calmer tone: "I don't even know what day it is anymore of this record-long shutdown. But the pretext for it is an invention. It's creation of something in the president's mind."
Cruz took back the floor and said the Colorado senator's "angry" speech attacked him personally.
Bennet clapped back, saying Cruz called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a liar during a Senate floor speech in 2015.
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