WASHINGTON — Sen. Ted Cruz attacked his own party’s leader on the Senate floor Friday, accusing Mitch McConnell of lying by telling fellow Republicans he wouldn’t allow a vote on renewing the Export-Import Bank.

WASHINGTON — Sen. Ted Cruz attacked his own party’s leader on the Senate floor Friday, accusing Mitch McConnell of lying by telling fellow Republicans he wouldn’t allow a vote on renewing the Export-Import Bank.


"I cannot believe he would tell a flat-out lie," said Cruz of Texas, who is seeking the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. "We now know that when the majority leader looks us in the eyes and makes an explicit commitment that he is willing to say things that he knows are false."


Cruz contended that Majority Leader McConnell had promised fellow Republicans he wouldn’t allow a vote on renewing the bank’s charter, which expired at the end of June. Conservative Republicans, including McConnell, oppose reauthorizing Ex-Im.


The majority leader on Friday set up a procedural vote on a proposed amendment renewing Ex-Im, which would be attached to highway funding legislation. Senators strongly backed Ex-Im in a June 10 test vote.


McConnell’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment on Cruz’s statement.


Cruz also criticized McConnell’s decision to offer a separate amendment to the highway bill that would repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law. He said that would be "an empty show vote" that would fail and called it "meaningless political theater."


Congressional conservatives, including Cruz, want to eliminate the Ex-Im Bank. He said its work — providing loans, loan guarantees and insurance to aid overseas sales by U.S. companies — amounts to "corporate welfare" and "cronyism for giant corporations."


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