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April 19, 2015

Posts in "Ted Cruz"

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.

Full story

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.

Full story

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.”

Full story

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

February 26, 2015

3 Republicans Defy Ted Cruz, Back Loretta Lynch (Updated)

Ted Cruz

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 1:36 p.m. | It’s starting to look like yet another loss under the Dome for Ted Cruz.

The Texas firebrand’s fellow Republicans aren’t on board with his plan to block Loretta Lynch’s nomination to be attorney general.

The Senate Judiciary Committee backed the Lynch nomination, 12-8, Thursday with the help of three Republicans — Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Jeff Flake of Arizona. Full story

February 25, 2015

Ted Cruz Learns When to Fold

Ted Cruz won't gum up the works in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ted Cruz says he won’t gum up the works in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Ted Cruz apparently isn’t up for fighting just for the sake of fighting when it comes to funding the Department of Homeland Security.

Time and time again, the Texas firebrand has railed against deals struck by Mitch McConnell in recent years — and voted against them — but he hasn’t used all of the considerable procedural tools at his disposal to gum up the works. Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 4:09 p.m.
Ted Cruz

February 12, 2015

Odd Couples Push Criminal Justice Overhauls (Updated)

Cornyn and Whitehouse conduct a news conference in the Capitol's Senate studio on bipartisan legislation to reform the prison system. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Cornyn and Whitehouse conduct a Feb. 10 news conference in the Capitol’s Senate studio on bipartisan legislation to reform the prison system. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 3:41 p.m. | John Cornyn and Sheldon Whitehouse. Mike Lee and Richard J. Durbin. Rand Paul and Harry Reid.

Those three Senate odd couples have been spearheading the rollout of legislation this week that, taken together, would affect prison sentences for convicted criminals, how long they might serve and what happens to them when they’ve paid their debt to society. That follows Paul teaming up with Judiciary Committee ranking Democrat Patrick J. Leahy earlier this month.

And if even one of the bills could move through the committee process and then secure some precious Senate floor time, who knows what might happen.

Full story

February 6, 2015

ISIS AUMF Debate a 2016 Foreign Policy Test

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cruz, left, and Graham are two senators seen as potential Republican candidates for the White House in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congress is gearing up — belatedly — for a full-throated war debate that will serve as a proving ground for potential presidential candidates heading into 2016.

With a draft Authorization for Use of Military Force against the Islamic State terror group expected on Capitol Hill by the middle of the week, as lawmakers complete work before a weeklong Presidents Day recess, the debate over how much authority to give President Barack Obama will soon take center stage.

The issue will provide opportunities for jockeying among those senators seeking their party’s nomination for president, including Lindsey Graham, who recently announced his intention to explore the possibilities.

Full story

February 3, 2015

Graham Dings Cruz Effort to Block Loretta Lynch

Cruz and Graham last week. They disagree on Loretta Lynch. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Cruz and Graham last week. They disagree on Loretta Lynch. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Lindsey Graham is knocking Sen. Ted Cruz’s effort to block Loretta Lynch from becoming attorney general over immigration.

Graham said Cruz’s proposed blockade would just leave Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in charge.

“Nobody is going to say that the executive order is illegal that President Obama appoints, so the idea that we would block an attorney general nominee until you’ve gotten somebody to agree with Sen. Cruz about the executive order is probably not feasible,” he said. “It ensures that Eric Holder stays in place for two years. It’s picking a fight that we can’t win.” Full story

January 28, 2015

Cruz Says Fate of ‘Dangerous’ Lynch Up to McConnell

Cruz called Lynch's views "dangerous." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Cruz called Lynch’s views “dangerous.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Ted Cruz called attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch’s immigration views “dangerous” Wednesday and questioned whether Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., should even have the chamber consider her nomination.

“That is the decision the majority leader is going to have to make. I believe we should use every constitutional tool available to stop the president’s unconstitutional executive action. That’s what Republicans, Republican candidates all over the country said over and over again last year,” the Texas Republican said in a brief interview with CQ Roll Call as the daylong Judiciary Committee hearing on Lynch’s nomination neared conclusion.

Full story

January 12, 2015

Ted Cruz: Preserve Filibuster, Even For Obamacare Repeal

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

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

There’s a limit to what Sen. Ted Cruz would do to repeal Obamacare.

The Texas Republican said Monday that Republicans should do “everything humanly possible to repeal Obamacare” during a speech at Heritage Action’s annual policy summit. It’s a line he’s used before. But he later added a caveat.

When asked if Republicans should use the “nuclear option” to ditch the filibuster on legislation and get more bills to President Obama’s desk, including a bill repealing Obamacare, Cruz told reporters, “no, we should not.”

“We should preserve the procedural protections in the Senate for the rights of the minority,” he said. Full story

Cornyn: ‘We Learned the Hard Way’

"We have the responsibility to govern," Cornyn said. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“We have the responsibility to govern,” Cornyn said. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

At the start of the last Congress, John Cornyn wrote an editorial titled “Partial Government Shutdown May Be Needed to Restore Fiscal Sanity.” He’s singing a different tune today.

“I’ve evolved,” the Texas Republican and newly minted Senate majority whip said in an interview last week with CQ Roll Call.

For starters, the memory of the 2013 shutdown over Obamacare instigated by his fellow Texas senator, Ted Cruz, remains fresh. Full story

December 16, 2014

Democrats Close Out Majority With Wins on Nominations

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Reid said that the Democrats could have accomplished more during the lame-duck session. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“This will be the last vote of this Congress,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced shortly before 9:30 p.m.

The Senate’s end-of-session mechanics kicked into high gear Tuesday, with the chamber confirming a slew of President Barack Obama’s judicial and executive nominations and clearing a one-year retroactive extension of lapsed tax breaks that will resolve the issue for just weeks.

Reid, who will become the minority leader in the 114th Congress, told reporters he thinks the Democrats could have seen more accomplished in the lame-duck session.

“There’s a lot more we could and should have done,” Reid said, adding, “We did OK this time, but we’ve had better.”

Full story

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