WASHINGTON, D.C. (KTRK) -- After that massive $900 billion COVID-19 pandemic relief package was approved by Congress on Monday, Texas Senator Ted Cruz released a statement explaining why he voted against the measure.
Cruz was one of six GOP senators to cast a nay vote on the bill, which passed both houses and is headed to President Donald Trump's desk for his signature.
"Had this bill been solely focused on re-opening the economy, getting Americans back to work, and jump starting a recovery, it would have had my enthusiastic support," Cruz said in a statement overnight.
The junior senator from Texas said late Monday the bill was a waste of taxpayer money and full of pork barrel spending.
"Though the mainstream media and lobbyists will hail this legislative monstrosity as a tremendous victory, make no mistake: urgently-needed COVID-19 relief was tied to a $1.4 trillion wasteful end-of-year spending bill and countless pet projects that will escape close scrutiny because three times, congressional Democrats rejected good faith efforts to pass targeted relief," Cruz said.
While Cruz dissented, Texas Senator John Cornyn voted for the relief bill and said it would help Americans during the pandemic.
"I know this won't erase all financial uncertainty, but it will go a long way to provide help," Cornyn said. "I appreciate the work of our colleagues who fought for a deal that will help so many during this next phase of our fight."
Cruz pointed to a number of items included in drafts of the bill that he said should have been separate efforts and not part of the massive package.
"I would have also enthusiastically voted for the Water Resource Development Act, which is critical for the construction of the Port of Houston's ship channel expansion project, a port that supports roughly 3.2 million jobs," Cruz said. "These are important proposals and they should not have been muddied by this multi-trillion dollar mess."
HOW THE TEXAS DELEGATION VOTED:
Sen. John Cornyn - Yea
Sen. Ted Cruz - Nay
The bill passed the Senate 92-6.
Reps. Dan Crenshaw, Lizzie Fletcher, Kevin Brady, Al Green, Michael McCaul, and Sheila Jackson Lee all voted for the House version of the bill. Reps. Michael Burgess and Michael Cloud voted against it.
The House version of the bill passed 359-53.