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July 3, 2015

Posts in "Ted Cruz"

June 29, 2015

In Washington, Ted Cruz’s ‘Truth’ Will Make Him More Enemies

A new book by Ted Cruz slams a number of his colleagues in what he calls the "Washington cartel." (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A new book by Cruz — “A Time For Truth” — slams a number of his colleagues in what he calls the “Washington cartel.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

When their presidential bids failed, senators as liberal as Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and as conservative as Barry Goldwater of Arizona returned to Capitol Hill and had productive — if not legendary — careers.

But Sen. Ted Cruz’s new book is the latest indication he has no plan to be a member of such a club if his run for the White House doesn’t go as planned. He is running against what he’s taken to calling a “Washington cartel.”

As to be expected from a senator who has openly sought to undermine GOP leadership, “A Time for Truth” does not pull punches, leading off with anecdotes about one of the more bizarre sequences of events in recent Senate history: the day the clerk’s microphone was turned off for a crucial vote on raising the debt limit.

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June 23, 2015

Cruz: Kill Ex-Im Before Voting for Trade Promotion Authority

Ted Cruz announced his bid for president at Liberty University. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Cruz has imposed new conditions on voting for the trade legislation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The effort to get “fast-track” trade authority for President Barack Obama has lost the support of one of the Republicans who could benefit from the powers if he became president in 2017.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said Tuesday the process by which the Trade Promotion Authority measure advanced through the House meant he could not support it without new assurances about winding down the authorization for the Export-Import Bank, claiming Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, must have made some kind of backroom deal with Democrats about the bank.

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June 18, 2015

Ted Cruz Vs. Ted Cruz on Obamacare Extensions

Cruz was for a six-month transition from Obamacare before he was against it. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cruz was for a six-month transition from Obamacare before he was against it. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Ted Cruz has never shied from his displeasure for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

The Texas Republican’s opposition may have been most famously embodied in his extremely long speech in 2013, which, along with his lobbying efforts to get Congress to defund the law, set the stage for the 16-day government shutdown.

But Cruz’s recent positions seem to conflict with a stance he took just a few months ago.

With the Supreme Court expected to offer a ruling in King v. Burwell that threatens subsidies for approximately 6.4 million people throughout the 34 states with federally run health care exchanges, Cruz, according to the Wall Street Journal and others, have been opposed to proposals giving a six-month or longer sunset period for those who would lose the subsidies.

But in February, Cruz introduced the ObamaCare Repeal bill, which would have provided a six-month transition period as well.

According to Cruz’s office, the two ideas — total repeal and elimination of the subsidies — are completely different. A total repeal would require a six-month period for the entire country to adjust, while an aide suggested subsidies wouldn’t need to be extended if states were allowed to opt out of Obamacare, which Cruz has also suggested.

While millions of people could lose their subsidies depending on how the Supreme Court decides, Cruz believes everyone’s health care situation will improve if the law goes away, according to a Cruz aide.

One of the sponsors of a subsidy-extension bill, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., on Wednesday floated the idea to reporters of something like a two-year extension of the “somewhat status quo,” which would give the families of those affected by the law time to adjust and would also create a mandate election in 2016.

“Give the American people a chance to be involved in deciding what direction our health care system will take after the 2016 elections,” said Johnson, who faces perhaps the most difficult re-election of any Senate Republican.

“Now [that] they’ve actually seen the results of Obamacare, now’s the time to have that mandate election,” he said.

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., has also suggested using the money left over from King v. Burwell fallout to fund a Republican replacement plan.

Niels Lesniewski contributed to this report.
 
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June 15, 2015

McCain Eager to Finish Defense Bill, but Amendment Landmines Remain

National Defense Authorization Act

McCain hopes to complete work on the defense bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The defense policy bill could get off the Senate floor this week the easy way — or the hard way.

Senators will enter their third partial week of floor debate on the National Defense Authorization Act when they return Monday, with a key vote to limit debate on the measure occurring Tuesday morning unless there is an agreement to change the schedule.

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June 9, 2015

Amanda Carpenter Leaving Ted Cruz World

Amanda Carpenter Ted Cruz

Carpenter’s last day with Cruz will be July 5. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One of the most high-profile communicators on Capitol Hill — and in social media —  is leaving to go back to writing under her own name.

Amanda Carpenter, who has been the communications director for Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in his Senate office since October, announced Tuesday in a message to colleagues that with her boss’s presidential campaign team running full-speed ahead, she plans to return to conservative commentary.

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By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 3:35 p.m.
2016, Ted Cruz

May 27, 2015

Cruz Threatens to Subpoena Treasury Officials to Testify About Obamacare Rules

Cruz wants to keep the filibuster, even though it makes it harder to repeal Obamacare. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Ted Cruz is warning he might seek to compel testimony from the Treasury Department about the Affordable Care Act.

The Texas Republican presidential candidate, who has the gavel of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts, said his staff had been informed by the Obama administration that witnesses would not be available to testify about the rule-making process for providing subsidies under Obamacare because of ongoing litigation.

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May 22, 2015

Cruz, Rubio Team Up on Iran

Rivals and allies, Cruz and Rubio are demanding the Pentagon report on Iranian military capabilities. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rivals and allies, Cruz and Rubio are demanding the Pentagon report on Iranian military capabilities. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rival Republican presidential candidates Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida are teaming up on Iran.

The duo, along with Georgia GOP Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue, are demanding a report on Iranian military power from the Pentagon.

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May 20, 2015

Just Before Midnight, Rand Paul Ends ‘Filibuster’ (Updated)

Rand Paul's "filibuster" led to a long day in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rand Paul’s “filibuster” led to a long day in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated May 21, 7:18 a.m. | Sen. Rand Paul continued to speak until almost midnight — and his campaign operation continued to solicit fundraising dollars — on the most eventful day of waiting the Senate’s seen in a while.

By the time he yielded the floor after roughly 10 and a half hours, the Kentucky Republican had many colleagues join him on the floor. After finishing, Paul told a small gaggle of reporters who had stayed until the end that he seized an opportunity earlier in the day, and said he didn’t advise Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., before doing so.

“I didn’t tell him or anything because obviously if they block you from the floor, you can’t take the floor. So, I had to wait my turn and hope nobody would block me,” Paul said.

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April 21, 2015

Legislative Deadlines for Presidential Candidates to Watch

Cruz will get another chance to weigh in on the debt limit before the end of the year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cruz will get another chance to weigh in on the debt limit before the end of the year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

There’s no shortage of deadlines in 2015 that will put the national media spotlight on Capitol Hill, even as much of the attention is on shooting ranges, ballrooms and diners in early presidential states.

And for what’s likely to be four Republican senators making runs for the White House and their advisers, these moments will be an opportunity to distinguish themselves from fellow legislators — and perhaps for the candidates running from governor’s mansions or the business community.

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April 17, 2015

Cruz Iran Letter Uses the Royal ‘We’ — Briefly

( Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cruz has concerns about Iran. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Ted Cruz fired off a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry Friday that declared “we” are making requests for the countries involved in the Iran talks — even though no other senators signed the letter.

The Texas Republican, who is seeking his party’s nomination for president in 2016, said without congressional approval or Senate consent to ratification of a treaty, any final agreement between the P5+1 negotiators and the Iranians could be null and void with a future administration.

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By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 4:17 p.m.
2016, Iran, Ted Cruz

April 16, 2015

What ‘Abolish the IRS’ Really Means

Lee, left, and Rubio, talked about the 'Abolish the IRS' pitch. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Lee, left, and Rubio, have an ‘Abolish the IRS’ pitch. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“Abolish the IRS” is a popular Republican refrain, getting time on the campaign trail and promotion from the Republican National Committee. But don’t take the catch phrase literally.

Sen. Marco Rubio, the Floridian who aims to be the party standard-bearer in the 2016 presidential contest, effectively conceded Wednesday there’s a bit of hyperbole involved.

Rubio’s partner on a tax code overhaul proposal, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said what conservatives really want is a significantly simpler tax code that would dial back the kind of power the IRS has accumulated.

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April 14, 2015

A Busy and Bipartisan Tuesday

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

For all the talk of the death of bipartisanship, Tuesday’s busy legislative day in the Senate provided quite the counter-argument.

A little more than a day after returning from a two-week recess, the legislative dam burst, with senators making significant headway on sticky issues such as the Iran nuclear deal, a rewrite of the No Child Left Behind law, a replacement for the payment formula for doctors who treat Medicare patients and possibly even the confirmation process for Loretta Lynch, President Barack Obama’s nominee for attorney general. Full story

March 31, 2015

10 Things We Learned From the Vote-a-Rama

vote-a-rama

Toomey got attention for changing his vote during last week’s vote-a-rama. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the vote-a-rama in the rearview mirror, it’s worth taking stock of what the 15-plus hours of nonbinding votes on dozens of amendments said about the 2016 presidential election, how vulnerable senators voted and what issues might now come to the fore. Full story

March 23, 2015

At Liberty, Ted Cruz Speaks to the Faithful (Updated)

Ted Cruz announced his bid for the presidency at Liberty University on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 4:01 p.m. | LYNCHBURG, Va. — The Senate’s longest week kicked off some 180 miles southwest of the Capitol, with a presidential campaign announcement by one of the chamber’s conservative firebrands, Sen. Ted Cruz.

Timed to the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act, Cruz made an explicitly religious and sharply conservative pitch to an enthusiastic audience dominated by thousands of Liberty University students.

By the end of the week, all of the potential presidential candidates will have a chance to make their mark thanks to the Senate budget resolution, and dozens of votes, hitting the floor for the unpredictable vote-a-rama.

Here in Lynchburg, Cruz’s record of big fights — and big legislative losses — on defunding Obamacare, rolling back President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration or opposing raising the debt limit — were a call to arms, not a record of failure.

Cruz suggested if millions of like-minded conservative voters get out and vote in the next election, his vision of America will come true.

“Roughly half of born-again Christians aren’t voting,” Cruz lamented, then asked his audience repeatedly to “imagine” a different world where they vote, and, presumably, he wins.

“Think just how different the world would be. Imagine: instead of economic stagnation, booming economic growth,” Cruz said. “Imagine young people coming out of school with four, five, six job offers.”

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By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 11:33 a.m.
2016, Budget, Ted Cruz

March 19, 2015

Cruz Launching Sanctions Missile Amid Rumors of Iran Deal

Ted Cruz

Cruz is introducing his own Iran sanctions proposal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Just days before a deadline for an update on a potential announcement of a nuclear agreement with Iran, one Republican senator likely to run for president is renewing a sanctions push.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is poised to introduce an updated version of legislation Thursday that would revive all sanctions previously loosened by the Obama administration, as well as expand petrochemical sanctions. Companion legislation is expected to be filed in the House of Representatives.

Full story

By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 1:44 p.m.
2016, Iran, Ted Cruz

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