‘A Republican Leader Should Actually Lead’: Ted Cruz Calls For Mitch McConnell To Step Aside After Border Bill Debacle

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Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas blasted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Tuesday, saying McConnell should step down from his leadership post.

Negotiators released the text of the legislation Sunday evening after weeks of talks between Republican Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. Republicans in the House and Senate ripped the bill, with House Speaker Mike Johnson calling it “dead on arrival” despite McConnell’s support. (RELATED: Nikki Haley Calls Senate ‘The Most Privileged Nursing Home’ After McConnell’s Mid-Speech Freeze)

“A Republican leader should actually lead this conference and should advance the priorities of Republicans,” Cruz said during a Tuesday press conference, responding to a question about whether McConnell should step aside.


Some provisions of the bill drew criticism from Republicans, who said the bill would still allow hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants into the United States and grant them work permits.

“The Senate Amnesty Bill literally would force President Trump to let in illegals well into his term,” Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida posted Sunday. “Any Republican who votes for this is no better than a Democrat!”

McConnell seemed to dismiss Cruz’s call for him to step down.

“We can all agree that Senator Cruz is not a fan,” he said when asked about Cruz’s comments.

McConnell’s health has been an issue in recent months. The Senate minority leader was hospitalized last March after he tripped and fell during an event at the Waldorf Astoria in Washington, D.C., suffering a concussion and a fractured rib, and entered an inpatient rehab facility after he was released from the hospital March 13.

The 81-year-old senator was previously treated for a broken shoulder after a 2019 fall in his Kentucky home. He also froze up during an August press conference in Covington, Kentucky, when asked if he was running for re-election in 2026 and had a similar incident in July during a weekly press conference in the Capitol.

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