Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzHospitals in underserved communities face huge cuts in reckless 'Build Back Better' plan To counter China, the Senate must confirm US ambassadors The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Congress avoids shutdown MORE (R-Texas) said on Tuesday that the U.S. military should not play the role of "social workers" in Iraq.
Speaking on Fox News's "Hannity," Cruz voiced his frustration with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey's responses at a Senate hearing earlier in the day on the administration's plan to combat ISIS militants.
"When I asked Gen. Dempsey, militarily, how would we go in and kill the terrorists before they're able to take jihad to America, his answer was, 'Well, we need to see political reconciliation,'" Cruz said. "We need to change the conditions on the ground so people are not susceptible to extremism. Look, it's not our job to be social workers in Iraq and put them all on expanded Medicaid. It is our job to kill terrorists who have declared war on America and who have demonstrated the intention and capability to murder innocent Americans."
Medicaid expansion has been a separate debate over whether states should choose to expand the low-income health insurance program under the Affordable Care Act.
Earlier in the interview, Cruz said of Dempsey and Secretary of Defense Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelInterpreter who helped rescue Biden in 2008 escapes Afghanistan Overnight Defense & National Security — Pentagon chiefs to Congress: Don't default Pentagon chiefs say debt default could risk national security MORE, "I mean, frankly, their answers were far more those you would expect of a social worker than of military leaders."
Cruz said he was unsatisfied with the focus on a political solution when he asked how ISIS could be militarily destroyed in 90 days.
The administration's plan calls for airstrikes against ISIS and support for Iraqi troops and Syrian rebels on the ground, but the administration has cautioned that the plan will not be quick.