Both Republican president candidates Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., plan to use rare procedural moves to outwit Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell R-Ky. If successful, the Republican presidential candidates will undermine McConnell's leadership and fuel campaigns that have lost ground in the wake of the constant media attention on fellow candidate Donald Trump's controversial immigration comments.

McConnell hopes to move a "must-pass," multi-billion dollar federal highway bill through the Senate quickly and block other senators from adding amendments that are popular with the Republican base, although he has added an amendment to the bill that would reauthorize the deeply unpopular Export-Import Bank.

On Friday Cruz took the Senate floor to denounce McConnell and accuse him of "flat-out" lying when he added the Ex-Im Bank amendment and refused other amendments in a video that quickly went viral. Cruz wants McConnell to allow an amendment that keeps Iran sanctions until the Islamic Republic recognizes Israel and frees four American hostages.

"Well, we now know that when the majority leader looks us in the eyes and makes an explicit commitment that he is willing to say things that he knows are false," Cruz said on the Senate floor. "That has consequences for how this body operates. If you or I cannot trust what the majority leader tells us, that will have consequences on other legislation, as well as on how this institution operates."

"I assume leadership is going to whip against that amendment but I'll tell you what. I don't know of a whole lot of Republicans or even a whole lot of Democrats who want to vote against that proposition," said Cruz.

For his part, McConnell said Friday he had little choice because supporters of the Ex-Im Bank threatened to block votes on the highway bill. "Supporters of the Ex-Im Bank are demanding a vote to reauthorize it, and they've made clear they're ready to stop all other amendments if denied that opportunity," said McConnell. "They've already proven they have the votes to back up the threat too."

Senate aides have hinted that Cruz may attempt to force procedural votes on other amendments in order to extend his protest, according to the Hill, but this would not last for more than a few hours as he is unlikely to get the majority support he admitted he needs Sunday.

The kind of procedural maneuvers that Paul and Cruz have threatened may draw media attention to the votes. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., who is friends with Paul, has used the method of demanding a roll-call vote to draw attention to votes that members pass to the chagrin of their constituents.

This seems to be just what Paul intends to try Sunday, as he wrote Friday night that he's "prepared to use every Senate rule at my disposal to force my colleagues on record whether they like it or not" on the issue of defunding Planned Parenthood. "Under Senate rules, if enough Senators are willing to stand with me and sign a petition demanding a vote, there will be no stopping you and me."

Whether either Cruz or Paul actually succeeds in their attempts, they are garnering much-needed media attention, GOP strategists point out. For someone like Cruz, who is popular with the conservative base but is not at the top of the polls, this could be particularly helpful.

"For someone trying to run for a president as a populist outsider and Trump sucking all the oxygen out of the room, this couldn't come at a better time," Ford O'Connell, a strategist who worked on Sen. John McCain's, R-Ariz, campaign for president told the Hill. "It's something where Cruz can get air time and reassert himself in the 2016 debate. Donald Trump is taking away his supporters. They are both running in the same lane right now. If Trump blows up, Cruz is the most likely to be the biggest beneficiary."