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Watch: Ted Cruz says Dems show 'stunning irresponsibility' for opposing DHS funding

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U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. (Image source: AP/Tony Gutierrez)

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) blamed Democrats on Sunday for failing to move ahead with a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security, less than three weeks before that funding expires.

"What we saw last week was stunning irresponsibility from the Senate Democrats," he told CNN. "The Senate Democrats three times filibustered funding for the Department of Homeland Security."

Senate GOP leaders spent all last week trying to advance a DHS funding bill, only to watch it get blocked by Democrats three times. Democrats oppose the bill because it includes language that would defund President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration.

But while Cruz blamed Democrats for the impasse, he said he warned GOP leaders late last year that this plan would be difficult to pull off. Cruz said he opposed the idea of passing the giant "CROmnibus bill" in December, and they trying to hold up DHS funding until Obama's plan could be defunded.

"If you recall, I fought tooth and nail against the CROmnibus in December, because I said in December this gives up our leverage and it puts us into effectively a box canyon," he said, adding that it's up to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) how to proceed.

"So I would say it's now up to leadership to lay out their strategy," he added. "I told them this was not a winning strategy, and they went down this road anyway, fighting tooth and nail."

McConnell has been hoping the Senate can return to "regular order," which would involve finding some way to pass the bill out of the Senate, and then negotiating with the House and possibly the White House about how to reach some final deal on DHS funding and immigration.

Cruz has said the U.S. should not vote on any Obama administration nominees until Democrats agree to move the DHS bill, but McConnell has indicated he would not use this bit of leverage.

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