Ayotte to Cruz: What’s your shutdown endgame?

Ayotte to Cruz: What’s your shutdown endgame?
© Greg Nash

Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteExplaining Democratic victories: It’s gun violence, stupid Trump voter fraud panel member fights back against critics Dems plan to make gun control an issue in Nevada MORE (N.H.) is pressing fellow Republican Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzDebbie Wasserman Schultz marks 10 years as breast cancer survivor Foreign agent registration is no magical shield against Russian propaganda Let Trump be Trump and he'll sail through 2020 MORE (Texas) to reveal his “strategy for success” as he risks a government shutdown in an attempt to end federal funding of Planned Parenthood.

In a letter to Cruz on Thursday, Ayotte demanded to know why the firebrand Texas senator — and presidential candidate — is so strongly pushing legislation that the party can't pass.

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“It is abundantly clear that we lack the votes in the Senate to redirect these funds,” Ayotte, one of four female Republicans in the Senate, wrote in the letter.

She goes out of her way to distance herself from a government shutdown — ”particularly when it appears there is no chance of achieving a successful result.”

Two years after Cruz took a stand on ObamaCare that resulted in a government shutdown but no policy changes, Ayotte said she is asking him to reveal his hand about what he hopes to achieve.

“[I] would appreciate you sharing your strategy for success with all of us before any damaging government shutdown becomes imminent,” she wrote in the letter, which was first obtained by the New Hampshire news station WMUR.

Dozens of Republicans in Congress have promised to defund Planned Parenthood at all costs in the wake of this summer’s controversy over fetal tissue donations. But GOP leaders strongly opposed any effort that could link them to a dysfunctional government.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has strongly condemned Cruz’s efforts, which he warned would cause chaos in the chamber. Similarly, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has told members in private meetings this week that the GOP would take the blame for any fallout.