WASHINGTON, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, apologized to his colleagues after he and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, held the Senate up for the weekend for debate, giving the Democrats a final win.
Cruz demanded the Senate remain over the weekend to debate the spending bill they had to pass in an attempt to insert language overriding President Barack Obama's executive order protecting 5 million undocumented immigrants. Lee scuttled the agreement Friday night, causing Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to call the Senate back into session Saturday.
Senators who were heading home for the weekend had to return to the Capitol for votes. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., was going to see "The Nutcracker" with her children when she was told she had to return to Washington. Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., was also planning to go home when he was notified of Cruz and Lee's plan at 11:30 p.m. Friday. Sen. Bob Corker was planning to visit the Middle East before he takes charge of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in January but had to reschedule.
If having their travel plans was not enough to make both the Senate Republicans and Democrats angry, Cruz and Lee's antics allowed Reid to push through dozens of the president's stalled nominees Republicans have been blocking. This was considered a final win for the Democrats as the majority in the Senate before the 114th Congress convenes.
Cruz, realizing the alienation of his party, apologized at a caucus breakfast Tuesday.
"Yes, the senator acknowledged that a number of his colleagues had to unexpectedly change their weekend plans, and he apologized to them for inconveniencing their personal schedules. That was not his intention," said Cruz's spokeswoman Catherine Frazier. "His intention was to secure a vote on President [Barack] Obama's illegal executive amnesty, and to use every procedural means to do so."
"I'm not going to go back and rehash the events of the last few days. You all have written about them, you know exactly what happened over the weekend. We are where we are, and I'm hoping that we'll wrap it up today or tomorrow."
Congress will come back with a Republican majority for the first session of the 114th Congress and hopefully they get off to a better start than the previous session.