On Thursday, Washington Post reporter Ed O’Keefe blogged: “An incredible thing happened this week: A bill written by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) has passed Congress.” It was a bill designed to block entry into the country for Iran’s new ambassador to the United Nations, who aided the radical Iranians who held Americans hostage for 444 days in 1979 and 1980.
On Saturday, the Post put the controversy on page one and played “Hide the Ted.” There was no mention of Cruz anywhere in the 946-word article. The only proud politician quoted was liberal Chucky Schumer. Reporter Anne Gearan began:
The Obama administration said Friday that it would block Iran's nominee as ambassador to the United Nations from entering the United States, setting up a new confrontation with Tehran just as relations with the Islamic republic appeared to be improving.
The decision to bar entry to the diplomat, who was allegedly involved in the 1979 seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, followed intense political pressure on the administration from Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill.
Gearan was not as impressed as O’Keefe, who elaborated:
It's a notable accomplishment in an institution accustomed to taking months, if not years, to pass legislation. And it's even a more notable accomplishment for a senator considered by many to be the embodiment of partisan gridlock and who has been frank about his disinterest in going along to get along on Capitol Hill.
Here's how it happened.
Cruz quickly and quietly worked to unveil a proposal in recent days that would ban Iran's recently appointed ambassador to the United Nations from entering the United States. He spent last weekend negotiating with New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer, the third-ranking Senate Democrat and a vocal critic of the Iranian government. Over the course of those conversations, the senators agreed to tweak Cruz's bill to make it amenable to Democrats, who on Monday night passed the bill unanimously and without debate.
These days, getting a bill passed by either chamber is enough of an accomplishment for most lawmakers. But Cruz quickly identified a House sponsor, Colorado Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn, who took up the cause and convinced House GOP leaders to bypass the committee process and allow for a quick vote. The measure passed unanimously on Thursday without debate as House lawmakers left town for a two-week recess...
Many people in both parties still hold a grudge against Cruz and blame him for helping force -- if not at least prolong -- last year's government shutdown. But this week Cruz played by the rules and won. Will he do it again? Stay tuned.