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White House misfires with disingenuous attack on Ted Cruz

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Anna Rose Layden/Getty Images

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) fired back at the White House Thursday for misrepresenting his voting record in a political cheap shot on social media.

On Sept. 12, the Texas lawmaker posted a clip from an interview he gave to local news station KAMC-TV in which he praised Congress for passing a highway infrastructure project connecting Laredo, Texas, near the U.S.-Mexico border to North Dakota and the northern border with Canada.

The project was added to an omnibus spending bill passed earlier this year in an amendment introduced by Cruz and Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.). It designates the Ports-to-Plains Corridor as a future addition to the U.S. interstate highway system.

"This project will bring jobs to Texas and millions of dollars to the state," Cruz wrote on Twitter. "A great bipartisan victory."

But the official White House Twitter account on Wednesday took a shot at Cruz because while he supported his amendment, he ultimately did not vote for the underlying $1.5 trillion spending package Congress passed earlier this year.

"Senator Cruz voted against this," the White House tweeted Wednesday in response to Cruz's KAMC interview.

KAMC reporter Ryan Chandler replied to the White House, noting that the station had asked Cruz why he voted against the omnibus bill even though he supported the highway project.

“That happens frequently in the United States Senate, where you end up working to get agreement and to pass a particular piece of legislation, but then it gets rolled into a giant bill that has a whole bunch of good things and bad things,” Cruz told KAMC. "For a decade now, there have been dozens of different pieces of legislation that I wrote, that I got support for, that I got passed into law. But the ultimate vehicle that they stuck into had other elements that were bad, and wasteful, and didn't make sense. So that I vote against the giant mess of the bill, but at the same time enact the legislative victory that's focused on jobs in the state of Texas."

Cruz blasted the White House for misrepresenting his work in the Senate in a tweet posted Thursday.

"The I-27 provision was literally called Cruz-Lujan. I wrote the damn thing & built the support to pass it," Cruz wrote. "What I voted against was a much larger package that it was rolled into of unrelated & irresponsible Democrat spending that’s fueling skyrocketing inflation."

A spokesman for the senator said Cruz "made it possible" for the Ports-to-Plains Corridor project to pass in a statement to The Hill.

“What he voted against was a Democrat spending spree that contributed to an economic recession for American families,” Cruz press secretary Dave Vasquez said. “Ports-to-Plains could have easily and unanimously passed the Senate as a separate bill, but it was rolled into the pork-filled omnibus package Democrats rammed through Congress.”

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