Cruz added in a statement that he will place a hold, effectively blocking, any nominee unless Obama "can demonstrate that he has made some progress in alleviating the misery" of the Cuban people.
Obama's move has split Republicans, with Sens. Dean HellerDean HellerRed-state Dems in Supreme Court pressure cooker This week: House GOP faces make-or-break moment on ObamaCare Shutdown politics return to the Senate MORE (R-Nev.) and Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeOvernight Regulation: Senate moves to strike Obama-era internet privacy rules Overnight Tech: Senate votes to eliminate Obama internet privacy rules | FCC chief wants to stay out of 'political debate' on fake news | Wikileaks reveals new CIA docs Senate votes to block internet privacy regulations MORE (R-Ariz.) suggesting that Wednesday's announcement was a step in the right direction.
Democrats largely backed Obama's decision, with Sen. Ben CardinBen CardinMaking water infrastructure a priority Senators introduce new Iran sanctions Senate confirms Trump's pick for Israel ambassador MORE (D-Md.), the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, saying that "we are moving in a more hopeful direction."
But Sen. Robert MenendezRobert MenendezSteve Mnuchin, foreclosure king, now runs your US Treasury Senate Dems move to nix Trump's deportation order Senators to Trump: We support additional Iran sanctions MORE (D-N.J.), a leading critic of Obama's Cuba policy, said that the decision sends a message that "democracy and human rights take a back seat to a legacy initiative.”
© Greg Nash