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7/30/15

US Politics: Is the GOP on the Brink of Civil War? - by Fran Coombs

Senator Ted Cruz voiced the unhappiness of many Republican conservatives when he took to the floor of the Senate last Friday and in a rare intraparty broadside accused GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell of lying. Veteran Republican senators quickly rallied to McConnell’s defense.

Was it the shot fired at Fort Sumter that signals the real start of a GOP civil war?

Cruz said McConnell had told Republican conservatives in the Senate that there was no behind-the-scenes deal to revive the controversial Export-Import Bank. Conservatives view the bank as corporate welfare, while the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and pro-business Republicans are big supporters of it. But rather than let the bank stand or fall on a separate vote, McConnell announced at the last minute that a measure allowing reauthorization of the bank would be attached to much more popular legislation for funding highways. This maneuver guaranteed the bank’s reauthorization.

Conservative senators hit the ceiling. “The American people elected a Republican majority believing that a Republican majority would be somehow different from a Democratic majority in the United States Senate,” Cruz said, comparing McConnell to his predecessor as Senate majority leader, Democrat Harry Reid. “Unfortunately, the way the current Senate operates, there is one party, the Washington party.”

Sixty-nine percent (69%) of Republican voters agreed with Cruz recently when he responded to Jeb Bush’s comment about the need for Americans to work harder by saying: “The problem is not that Americans aren't working hard enough. It is that the Washington cartel of career politicians, special interests and lobbyists have rigged the game against them.” [Just 38% of Republicans agreed with Bush.]

Most Republican voters have long felt this way, saying in surveys for years that their congressional representatives are out of touch with the party’s base. Only 24% of Likely GOP Voters now believe Republicans in Congress have done a good job representing their party’s values. Democrats, by contrast, are much happier with their representation in Washington, D.C. 

Read more: Is the GOP on the Brink of Civil War? - Rasmussen Reports™

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