WASHINGTON – Could it have been Tex-Mex cuisine, margaritas and a south-of-the-border ambiance that helped put an end to the partial government shutdown?
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, met with about 15 House Republicans in a late-night and potentially heartburn-inducing meeting at a Capitol Hill restaurant and watering hole Tortilla Coast Monday evening. While the specific topics of their conversation are not known, the strategy session may have focused on the government closing, the budget and the debt ceiling, according to Roll Call.
Tortilla Coast, located at 400 1st St. SE, is just three blocks from the Capitol and is “beyond convenient,” GOP fundraiser Lisa Spies told The Washington Post. The Tex-Mex restaurant even pegs itself as a “fun, festive and unique spot from which to watch the capital’s movers and shakers in action,” according to its website.
The restaurant has been in business since 1988 and ranks as one of D.C.’s top seven busiest venues for political fundraisers, the Post says, citing the Sunlight Foundation. House campaigns spent more than $208,700 on events at Tortilla Coast in the 2011-2012 cycle, according to the Post.
For many, Tortilla Coast may seem like a puzzling choice for leaders of the U.S. government. Free chips and salsa, moderately priced entrees, worn booths and neon beer signs are just some of the eatery’s signature descriptors. Cruz reportedly hosted the meeting in the Rio Room — a windowless dining room in the basement with green carpet and, as the restaurant’s website describes, “d