Texas Republicans are trying to delay voting in the House and Senate after the midterms

WASHINGTON – Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, urged supporters to light up senators’ phone lines with demands to derail Senator Mitch McConnell’s expected election to another two-year Senate Republican leader this week.

Cruz’s call for the leadership election to be postponed was part of his “volcanic” frustration that the huge Republican red wave that he and others had confidently predicted was turning into a rosy wave.

He said “everyone bears some of the blame,” but specifically targeted McConnell for giving up on conservative Senate candidates like Blake Masters, who Cruz called inadequate, who fell short against incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz .

“Mitch would rather be leader than have a Republican majority,” Cruz said. “If there’s a Republican who can win and doesn’t support Mitch, the truth is he’d rather the Democrat would win.”

There’s no point in picking executives this week, Cruz said, calling instead for those decisions to be made after the Georgia Senate runoff on Dec. 6.

Voting quickly for the same people to be in charge now would be like saying “everything is great” while rowing a boat over a waterfall and crashing onto the rocks below, he said.

“When you have the best team in the nation and you get knocked down and knocked down and knocked down, you know what happens? They’re firing the coach,” Cruz said. “The idea that we have leadership elections on Wednesday is crazy.”

Cruz listed seven other Senate Republicans who were pushing to postpone the election and encouraged his listeners to flood the phone lines of any unincluded senators.

His fellow Republican from the home state, Senator John Cornyn, was not on that list.

During a speech Monday, Cornyn acknowledged the coming internal party debate and said he hoped Republicans would listen to one another.

“I know many of my Republican colleagues are keen to have an open discussion about our party’s future path,” Cornyn said. “And it’s important that we do that. We need to make sure our policies and message resonate with voters two years from now.”

When asked in an interview about Cruz’s call for the leadership vote to be postponed, Cornyn noted that no one had announced a challenge for McConnell.

“I don’t see the point of delaying an uncontested election,” Cornyn said.

Cruz isn’t the only Texas Republican on Capitol Hill pushing to postpone this week’s election.

Rep. Chip Roy, R-Austin, said House Republicans shouldn’t be voting for leadership positions while so much remains unknown about the election results.

“Americans are demanding transformative change, but Congress is too broken to make that change,” Roy said on Twitter. “Our spokesman, whoever that is . . . Must a) Reject the status quo, provide leadership on issues that matter to Americans, and authorize members of the House of Representatives to fight on those issues.”

Roy and other members of the conservative, largely Trump-aligned House Freedom Caucus have called for changes to House Rules that would give them more clout.

But would-be speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is wary of giving away so much of his power that it paralyzes his speakership before it begins. For him, it’s a delicate balancing act that’s all the more precarious as the expected Republican majority is likely to be extremely narrow.

Entering a forum for Republican leadership candidates Monday night, Roy tried to downplay the internal conflict, telling reporters it’s common for members of the House to have a heated debate about the rules going into a new Congress.

“It’s about how we can get our work done effectively in January and that’s what we need to structure,” Roy said.

Texas Republicans have some weight to throw as they make up more than a tenth of the new House GOP conference.

“We have the largest Republican delegation, we’re going to lead the conservative states,” Congressman-elect Keith Self said as he entered the forum Monday night.

While it’s true that Texas Republicans have robust numbers, they’re not all on the same page when it comes to the current leadership debate.

Even and many of the other Texas Republicans hesitated Monday night when asked who they want to support with the leadership contests or if they’d prefer to postpone them beyond this week.

Others have firmly backed McCarthy, including Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Houston, and Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, who is in line to become the next chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee if Republicans take control.

On cable news and social media, McCaul has described opposition to McCarthy as much ado about nothing and praised him for working tirelessly to raise money for Republican candidates and help them win elections.

“Leader McCarthy has led us to the majority and is the only one who can unite the party to hold the Biden administration accountable for its mistakes at home and abroad,” McCaul said on Twitter.

Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, who is set to chair the House Appropriations Committee if Republicans take control, also supports McCarthy.

Bids to delay leadership elections on either side of the Capitol could be doomed to failure.

Former President Donald Trump, who is poised to announce a 2024 White House campaign, has reportedly been working to rally support for McCarthy among members of the House allied with him.

By contrast, Trump has repeatedly slammed McConnell, but McConnell seems unfazed by such criticism.

When asked Monday if he had the votes to keep his post, McConnell said “of course.”