Cruz pressures McConnell on Ex-Im Bank

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTomi Lahren says CPAC attendees clearly want Trump to run in 2024 OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden returns to Obama-era greenhouse gas calculation | House passes major public lands package | Biden administration won't defend Trump-era relaxation of bird protections Cruz hits back at Boehner for telling him to 'go f--- yourself' MORE (R-Texas) is pressuring Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump at CPAC foments 2022 GOP primary wars Hawley gets boisterous ovation at CPAC for Electoral College objection   Why Congress must invoke the 14th Amendment now MORE (R-Ky.) to stick to his pledge to not move a stand-alone bill reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank.

"Majority Leader McConnell has publicly promised not to bring Ex-Im reauthorization to the Senate floor. If he keeps that promise, then this cronyism will remain dead, and Leader McConnell will deserve the credit," the Texas Republican, who is running for president, said in a statement Tuesday night. 

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His remarks come after House supporters used a rare procedural tactic to pass stand-alone legislation reauthorizing the bank, which Cruz opposes. 
 
While Senate backers of the bank have used the House vote to publicly push for McConnell to move a stand-alone bill, the Kentucky Republican doubled down on his opposition earlier Tuesday. 
 
"The way to achieve Ex-Im, if it's going to be achieved in the Senate, would be in the context of the highway bill," he told reporters, adding that it a stand-alone bill wouldn't get floor time. 
 
Cruz added that the Senate "has the opportunity to do the right thing" by blocking reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank.
 
His statement comes after he and Senate leadership scuffled over the Export-Import Bank earlier this year. During a blistering floor speech, he accused McConnell of lying about making a deal to allow a vote on the Export-Import Bank as part of a long-term highway bill. 
 
The Texas Republican, at the time, said he asked McConnell during a private conversation if he had agreed to allow for a vote on Ex-Im in order to pass a separate fast-track trade bill. 
 
"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.' "
 
He added in Tuesday night's statement that the House vote was "a win for the Washington Cartel and a loss for the American people."