Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX, ripped his Democratic colleagues on Thursday for moving forward with an impeachment trial against former President Donald Trump, arguing that the move runs contrary to President Biden’s call for unity.
Senate leaders have yet to announce a date for the impeachment trial, which will mark the first time in U.S. history that a president is tried after leaving office. Cruz, who spoke to reporters after the Senate Commerce Committee held a confirmation hearing for Transportation Secretary Nominee Pete Buttigieg, called on Democrats to put aside “partisan hatred” of Trump and focus on the country’s pressing needs.
“It seems that Senate Democrats, the response they have to that is they want to start the new Congress the very first thing, with a vindictive and punitive impeachment trial,” Cruz told reporters. “I dont think that reflects the work of the American people.”
Biden reiterated his call for unity during his inaugural address on Wednesday, pledging that he would be a “president for all Americans.” In her first press briefing later that day, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the Biden administration was “confident” the Senate could “multitask” and handle an impeachment trial alongside efforts to address the pandemic.
The House impeached Trump on a single count of “incitement of insurrection” just days before he left the White House. The Senate was unable to move forward with a trial prior to Biden’s inauguration.
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Cruz also took aim at a slate of 17 executive orders and actions taken by Biden immediately after he entered the Oval Office. The orders include pledges rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, halt work on the Keystone oil pipeline and end federal funding for Trump’s border wall.
The Texas senator said Biden’s day one actions would “destroy 11,000 jobs” and “put blue collar union workers out of work.”
“That is a disquieting beginning to this administration,” Cruz said. “It only foreshadows hundreds of thousands of workers who are going to lose their jobs.”