Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) responded to President Barack Obama's latest call for action on gun control Thursday, launching criticism at the White House and promising to do everything in his power to stop the administration's push for stricter legislation.
"It is saddening to see the president today, once again, try to take advantage of this tragic murder to promote an agenda that will do nothing to stop violent crime, but will undermine the constitutional rights of all law-abiding Americans," Cruz said in a statement. "I am committed to working with Sens. Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, and Jim Inhofe -- and I hope many other colleagues -- to use any procedural means necessary to protect those fundamental rights."
Cruz also blamed the Obama administration for contributing to the gun violence it is now attempting to address.
"In any conversation about how to prevent future tragedies such as Sandy Hook, our focus should be on stopping criminals from obtaining guns," Cruz said. "Unfortunately, the Obama Administration has failed to make this a priority -- in 2010, out of more than 15,700 fugitives and felons who tried to illegally purchase a firearm, the Obama Justice Department prosecuted only 44. That is unacceptable."
Cruz has frequently criticized Obama's campaign against gun violence as disingenuous and ineffectual, suggesting that the president has "exploited" the December shooting in Newtown, Conn., in order to build support for proposals that Cruz claims will do nothing to stop gun deaths.
Instead, Cruz has joined with his Senate GOP colleagues in a pledge to filibuster the forthcoming legislation in hopes of preventing it from coming to the floor.
HuffPost's Sabrina Siddiqui reported on Thursday:
Gun control legislation is expected to face an uphill battle in Congress, where lawmakers on both sides of the aisle remain divided on the issue. Earlier this week, Paul and Cruz sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) stating their intention to filibuster the motion to proceed to debate on gun legislation.
But as Niels Lesniewski of Roll Call points out, under new Senate rules, Reid could use a procedural maneuver to force the bill to the floor.