02:37 - Source: CNN
Very different outlooks for next Senate

Story highlights

Ted Cruz refused to pledge his support to Mitch McConnell if he becomes Senate majority leader

He hopes the Senate will be as persistent in trying to repeal Obamacare as the House has been

CNN —  

Mitch McConnell could very well become the Senate majority leader after Tuesday’s midterm elections, but don’t count on Ted Cruz to make it an easy transition for the Kentucky Republican.

Cruz, a Republican senator from Texas who’s eying a 2016 presidential bid, all but promised to raise hell next year should his party control the Senate.

In an interview with The Washington Post published Sunday, Cruz refused to pledge his support to McConnell, the current minority leader in the Senate, and outlined what he believes should be the chamber’s priorities.

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While Cruz has campaigned for many mainstream Republican candidates this year, his new comments indicate he’s aiming to re-claim the mantle of Republican insurgent, a role that helped define his first year in the Senate in 2013.

The first priority next year, he told the Post, should be a string of hearings on President Barack Obama, “looking at the abuse of power, the executive abuse, the regulatory abuse, the lawlessness that sadly has pervaded this administration.”

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He also hopes a Republican Senate will “pursue every means possible to repeal Obamacare,” just as the GOP-controlled House has tried more than 50 times to dismantle the health care law.

Part of the effort, he said, should include forcing a vote that could avoid a possible filibuster by Democrats. If Obama vetoes the repeal, the Senate should vote on Obamacare provisions “one at a time,” according to the Post.

McConnell, who’s trying to stave off a high-profile Democratic challenge in his re-election bid, has largely stayed away from spelling out the would-be Republican agenda next year.

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Cruz’s comments also set the stage for an interesting dynamic between himself and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a potential 2016 rival.

Unlike Cruz, Paul has stood closely by McConnell’s side in the senior senator’s re-election campaign – an alliance that could surely benefit Paul, who’s eager to get his own series of bills passed in the run-up to a presidential bid.