AP News

Cruz's demands ensnares GOP leaders on debt vote

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Ted Cruz sat with eyes glued to his mobile device as the chaos he provoked ensnared his Republican leaders on the Senate floor.

Legislation to increase the nation's borrowing authority with no strings attached was short of the 60 votes it needed to advance. Without a few conversions, the measure would fail and Republicans would be blamed. The stock market was watching.

After what seemed like an eternity, a grim-faced Sen. Mitch McConnell finally voted yes. The Senate's Republican leader faces a tea party challenge back home.

An equally grim-faced Sen. John Cornyn changed his vote to yes.

Cruz showed no mercy in exposing Republican leaders to widespread criticism from their primary challengers on the debt limit after their pronouncements about the imperative of spending cuts.

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