Washington (CNN)Sen. Ted Cruz says bad strategy by Republican leaders and "stunning irresponsibility" on the part of Senate Democrats are to blame for a standoff that has threatened funding for the Department of Homeland Security.
Cruz hits GOP leaders, Democrats on Homeland Security
The firebrand Texas conservative said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" that Republicans have given up their leverage to halt President Barack Obama's immigration actions.
Cruz had advocated late last year to attack Obama's immigration action in a measure to fund the government. But GOP leaders delayed that fight until this month, when they've tried to undermine those actions in a bill that solely funds the Department of Homeland Security -- opening the party up to accusations that it's playing politics with national security.
"It's now up to leadership to lay out their strategy," Cruz said of Republicans. "I told them this was not a winning strategy and they went down this road anyway."
But he also laid into the "stunning irresponsibility by Senate Democrats" who have used procedural votes to block a bill that funds Homeland Security, but blocks Obama's immigration actions, from moving forward.
"The Democrats need to stop holding national security hostage for partisan political objectives. What they're doing is wrong and irresponsible," Cruz said.
"It is time to see some Senate Democrats willing to take on their own president, but right now, they're putting partisan politics ahead of principle, and that's why they're filibustering the funding for Homeland Security," he said.