"Today is a sad day for this institution," said Cruz, who is running for president. "What we just witnessed this morning is profoundly disappointing." 
 
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The Texas Republican's remarks come after McConnell set up a procedural vote on Sunday to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, which saw its charter expire last month. Democrats have said McConnell agreed to allow a vote on attaching Ex-Im to "must-pass" legislation to win support from Sen. Maria CantwellMaria CantwellUnited explains passenger removal to senators Report: GOP lawmakers selling access to top staffers Bipartisan group demands answers on United incident MORE (D-Wash.) for a trade package earlier this year. 
 
On the floor, Cruz said McConnell in a private conversation denied to him that there was such a deal.
 
"The majority leader was visibly angry with me that I would ask him such a question," Cruz said. "The majority looked at me and said 'there is no deal, there is no deal, there is no deal.'" 
 
The Texas Republican said his staff at the time told him that McConnell is "lying to you," but Cruz suggested that he took the Republican leader at his word. 
 
"What I told my staff that afternoon, I said, well I don't know if that's the case or not. But I don't see how when the majority leader looks me in the eyes and makes an explicit promise," he added. "I don't see how I cannot take him at his word." 
 
Cruz later said that McConnell's move to allow the Ex-Im vote shows that he does not always mean what he says. 
 
"Well, we now know that when the majority leader looks us in the eyes and makes an explicit commitment that he is willing to say things that he knows are false," the Texas Republican added, arguing it could have ramifications down the road.
 
"That has consequences for how this body operates," he said. "If you or I cannot trust what the majority leader tells us, that will have consequences on other legislation, as well as on how this institution operates." 
 
Cruz also ripped McConnell for using a procedural maneuver to prevent other amendments from being offered to the highway bill. That's the vehicle that will be used for the Ex-Im vote. 
 
Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidDraft House bill ignites new Yucca Mountain fight Week ahead: House to revive Yucca Mountain fight Warren builds her brand with 2020 down the road MORE (D-Nev.) frequently "filled the tree" to prevent amendments when Democrats had a Senate majority. It was a tactic that McConnell and other Republicans criticized. 
 
In addition to the Ex-Im vote, McConnell also set up a vote on repealing ObamaCare. That move was seen as an appeasement to conservatives upset over Ex-Im, but the vote is likely to fail and it did not calm Cruz.
 
"I agree with Senator Reid when he said the ObamaCare amendment is a cynical amendment. Of course it is. It is empty showmanship," he added.