WSJ: Cruz, Lee led GOP to defeat

The influential editorial board of The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday said Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) should take responsibility for leading Republicans to defeat in the government spending debate.

“We wish the GOP luck, since we support the policy if not the strategy,” the conservative-leaning board wrote in a Tuesday editorial. “But however this charge into the fixed bayonets turns out, we hope the folks who planned it will take responsibility for what happens now.”

In the piece entitled “The Cruz Campaign Against Obamacare,” the op-ed board singled out Lee and Cruz for their “implausible defunding gambit”

“The only real way to repeal the law is to win elections,” the op-ed board wrote. “But we’ve lost this debate, and Generals Cruz and Lee are in charge.”

On Friday, the House passed a resolution to keep the government funded with language that would defund ObamaCare, heeding calls from Lee, Cruz and others to use the must-pass legislation as leverage against Democrats.

The Senate is likely to reinstate funding for the healthcare law and send the bill back to the House.

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Cruz has pledged to filibuster the House bill to prevent Democrats from changing it but has said it would be up to House Republicans to hold firm once the Senate acts.

“It’s nice of him to volunteer House Republicans for duty. The supposedly intrepid General Cruz can view the battle from the comfort of HQ while the enlisted troops take any casualties,” the Journal wrote. 

Republicans, the editorial board argued, should pursue a more realistic demand, like seeking a one-year delay in the individual mandate to buy health insurance. Or, they should join Sen. David Vitter’s (R-La.) efforts to have ObamaCare apply to lawmakers and their staffs without any subsidy to help cover premiums.

Whether the government shuts down as a result of the partisan divide or not, the Journal says the politics are “treacherous and unpredictable.”