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Cruz, Warren oppose spending bill, but for different reasons

Ted Cruz  and Elizabeth Warren.
Ted Cruz and Elizabeth Warren. (Yuri Gripas/Getty images; J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

As a $1.1 trillion bill to fund the US government moves from the House to the Senate, an unlikely pair are finding themselves united in opposition to the measure.

Democrat Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, newly appointed to a party leadership position, and Republican Ted Cruz, who has fueled speculation about a 2016 presidential run with trips to Iowa, are rebelling against what’s being called a “compromise” by Senate leadership.

The spending bill would prevent another government shutdown and fund federal operations until the fall of 2015. Although there are provisions that amount to victories for each side, the deal is not universally welcomed by either party, with one representative arguing for members to “hold your nose and make this a better world.’’

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Here’s a look at why Warren and Cruz are leading the charge against the bill:

ELIZABETH WARREN: Wall Street reform

Elizabeth Warren is speaking out against a provision in the spending deal that she says would weaken the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul. The reform package was put in place following the 2008 financial crisis.

Warren argues that a provision in the spending bill that lifts some restrictions on big banks would be an unacceptable gift to Wall Street.

“We can’t just let them slip in grenades that blow up pieces of financial regulations,” Warren recently told the Globe.

Warren gave a speech on the Senate floor on Wednesday, urging Republicans to join her in opposing the measure in the bill, which she argues could lead to another government bailout.

“If big Wall Street banks want to gamble with their own money, so be it,” Warren said. “But they shouldn’t get to gamble with government insured money. And they shouldn’t get to run to government when the deal goes sour.”

TED CRUZ: Immigration

Senator Ted Cruz has tried to rally support among fellow Republicans to use the funding measure to roll back President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

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“Both Houses should use the power of the purse, which the Framers understood to be the most potent tool Congress has to rein in an out-of-control Executive,” Cruz said in a statement that outlined a plan to reverse the orders.

“We will fund the operation of the federal government, but we will not allocate taxpayer dollars for lawless and illegal amnesty,” Cruz said in a press conference earlier this month, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Despite his early effort to rally support to stem Obama’s actions through the funding bill, it remains unclear whether Cruz will try to block the measure. Republicans are reluctant to find themselves in another stalemate with Democrats after a fight over the Affordable Care Act in 2013 led to a 16-day government shutdown.


Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.