Spending bill doesn't include Cruz internet fight
© Greg Nash

A push by Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus Democrats play defense, GOP goes on attack after Biden oil comments Quinnipiac poll finds Biden, Trump tied in Texas MORE (R-Texas) to block the Obama administration from handing over management of the internet is not part of a short-term spending bill backed by Senate GOP leadership.  

Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump expressed doubt to donors GOP can hold Senate: report Senators battle over Supreme Court nominee in rare Saturday session Sunday shows preview: Trump, Biden gear up for final sprint to Election Day MORE (R-Ky.) filed the continuing resolution (CR) on Thursday without Cruz's initiative, which had gotten fierce pushback from Democrats and the White House. 
 
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Cruz and other conservatives wanted to block the administration from transferring the supervision of website domains from a Commerce Department contractor — the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers — to a broader body that includes foreign governments.
 
Cruz, who has kept the internet battle at the center of the spending fight, said Thursday that he was "profoundly disappointed" that the provision is being left out. 
 
"This is one more example why the American people are so fed up with Washington, because they expect all of us — Republicans, Democrats, and independents alike — to protect free speech online," he said in a statement. 
 
Cruz added that his House colleagues should "continue to stand united to ensure that the government funding bill prevents the Obama administration from permanently undermining free speech on the Internet." 
 
Lawmakers have until Oct. 1 to try to block the change, but without the measure in the spending bill, their efforts are likely to fall short. 
 
The move to leave out the internet provision comes after Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneSenators battle over Supreme Court nominee in rare Saturday session Finger-pointing picks up in COVID-19 relief fight McConnell tees up Barrett nomination, setting up rare weekend session MORE (R-S.D.) told reporters Wednesday that it was likely at least a temporarily delay could be included in the spending bill. 
 
Under that proposal, Thune said, the extension would be delayed until early December, through the end of the CR, leaving lawmakers to renew the fight during an end-of-the-year session. 
 
But top Democrats have been vocal opponents of including Cruz's push. Asked about Thune's comments, Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenators battle over Supreme Court nominee in rare Saturday session McConnell tees up Barrett nomination, setting up rare weekend session Bipartisan group of senators call on Trump to sanction Russia over Navalny poisoning MORE (D-Ill.) told The Hill that the White House and Democrats remained opposed to any delay of the transfer. 
 
Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidHarry Reid: Biden should give GOP three weeks to see if they will work with him Democrats to boycott committee vote on Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination Durbin says he will run for No. 2 spot if Dems win Senate majority MORE (D-Nev.) on Tuesday told reporters that "it's not [time for] a big debate for talking about how we change the internet forever. ... It's not a time to try to satisfy Cruz because he doesn't get along with the caucus and they're trying to shut him up." 
 
Thune said in a statement Thursday that Democrats initially seemed open to delaying the transfer but "new concerns about politics, not policy, drove them to change their mind."
 
“To say I’m disappointed doesn’t adequately convey my thoughts on leaving out a provision to stop the Obama administration’s imminent effort to surrender the federal role over the IANA functions of the Internet," he added.
 
This story was updated at 4:08 p.m.