Republican Congressional leaders aren’t exactly known as the biggest fans of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., but their current legislative strategy could inadvertently benefit his presidential candidacy.

Cruz has rankled the likes of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, due to a confrontational style that has triggered high-profile battles, most notably the effort to defund President Obama’s health care law, which led to a government shutdown in fall of 2013.

After Republicans took over the Senate, McConnell declared, “Let me make it clear: There will be no government shutdowns and no default on the national debt.” The words effectively meant that McConnell intended to limit the influence of Cruz — avoiding bruising confrontations over funding of government and raising the debt ceiling.