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October 31, 2014

Posts in "Ted Cruz"

October 21, 2014

10 Questions for Eric Holder’s Replacement as Attorney General

sessions006 062013 445x302 10 Questions for Eric Holders Replacement as Attorney General

Cruz, left, and Sessions both sit on the Judiciary Committee and will have a change to grill the nominee for attorney general. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Eric H. Holder Jr.’s replacement as attorney general will face a grilling from the Senate Judiciary Committee after the elections, with the position key to enabling President Barack Obama’s pen-and-phone executive agenda and with numerous hot-button issues under the purview of the Justice Department.

The nominee to replace Deputy Attorney General James Cole, who is also leaving, will also face much the same treatment.

Here are 10 questions the nominees will likely hear:

1. What is the limit of the president’s executive authority on immigration? Full story

October 14, 2014

Cornyn, Cruz Back Obamacare Lawsuit Over Origination Clause

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(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz are backing another Obamacare lawsuit, hoping to upend the law.

The Texas Republicans — both lawyers — filed a court brief backing the lawsuit, which claims the Senate failed to comply with the Constitutional requirement that revenue bills start in the House.

While the House drafted and passed a health care overhaul, the Senate did not use that bill as the base for its own effort. The legislative history for the bill that became law as the Affordable Care Act shows that it started as an innocuous measure in the House waiving the repayment requirement of the first-time home-buyer tax credit for some military personnel. Full story

Twitter’s Most Popular Congressional Staffer Gets New Title

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(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Ted Cruz has a new communications director in his Senate shop, but it’s a familiar face. Amanda Carpenter, the most-followed congressional staffer on Twitter, is getting a title that aligns more with her recent duties.

Not surprisingly, Carpenter, who has been senior communications adviser and speechwriter — highlighted the new title in a Tweet:

When CQ Roll Call profiled Carpenter in February, she conceded that the Texas Republican’s office offered her more freedom to use her own voice on social media than many other staffers, something attributable not only to Cruz and her former Senate boss, Jim DeMint, R-S.C., but to her history as a conservative columnist and a fresh face of conservative media. Full story

By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 12:16 p.m.
Politics, Ted Cruz

October 6, 2014

Ted Cruz Slams SCOTUS on Gay Marriage: ‘Tragic and Indefensible’

cruz 087 090914 445x296 Ted Cruz Slams SCOTUS on Gay Marriage: Tragic and Indefensible

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:49 p.m. | While most Republicans shied away from commenting Monday on the Supreme Court’s historic decision to let stand a slew of lower court rulings legalizing gay marriage, Sen. Ted Cruz torched the court’s decision.

The Texas Republican called the decision “tragic and indefensible” and said he would introduce a constitutional amendment that would ensure states can ban gay marriage.

“By refusing to rule if the States can define marriage, the Supreme Court is abdicating its duty to uphold the Constitution. The fact that the Supreme Court Justices, without providing any explanation whatsoever, have permitted lower courts to strike down so many state marriage laws is astonishing,” he said in a statement. Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 4:45 p.m.
Ted Cruz

Cruz Says 60 Days Are Up for War Powers Against ISIS

cruz2092313 445x300 Cruz Says 60 Days Are Up for War Powers Against ISIS

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Ted Cruz is pointing out that on Monday, the 60 days for military intervention under the War Powers Resolution should run out since the start of operations in Iraq against ISIS.

The Texas Republican wrote in an opinion piece for National Review that President Barack Obama should bring Congress back now that the clock has run its course.

“Given that 60 days has expired, the president should come to Congress and get proper authorization for this new military action (with an official name for the operation). He should lay out clear, defined military objectives. Congress, as a united body, should reject every attempt from hostile actors such as Iran to exploit our mission for their own gain,” Cruz wrote. “And we must abandon the fantasy that the Syrian moderate rebels will be our proxy army in this fight and prioritize instead working with the Kurdish forces who are also focused on ISIS.” Full story

October 2, 2014

Ted Cruz Asks FAA About Ebola Flight Ban

judiciary007 052114 445x291 Ted Cruz Asks FAA About Ebola Flight Ban

( Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Ted Cruz is asking the Federal Aviation Administration what it’s doing to prevent the spread of Ebola after the first U.S. diagnosis, which came in his home state.

“Given the severity of this virus and the fact that its spread to Texas has been associated with travel, it is imperative that the FAA take every available precaution in preventing additional cases from arriving in the United States. As you may be aware, several African nations have already restricted or banned air travel to countries with confirmed cases of the Ebola virus,” the Texas Republican wrote in a letter to FAA chief Michael P. Huerta. “British Airways, Emirates Airlines and Kenya Airways have also suspended flights due to the rising death toll and deteriorating public health situation in Ebola-stricken countries.”

Among his questions, Cruz is asking Huerta in whether the FAA has any plans to stop allowing flights “to countries that have experienced a significant Ebola outbreak.”

Thom Tillis, the Republican speaker of the North Carolina House who is challenging Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan this year has called for such a travel ban. Full story

September 26, 2014

Cruz, Paul Make Early Presidential Pitches at Values Voter Summit

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Cruz and Paul each courted Values Voter Summit conservatives. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

In a preview of what Republicans in Iowa and New Hampshire can expect to see a lot of over the next year, Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul reached out to conservatives at the annual Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. on Friday.

While neither Cruz nor Paul have officially announced a bid for the Republican nomination, both speeches laid out the fundamentals for a presidential run.

For Paul, it was allaying the concerns of many in the religious right that the Kentucky Republican is too libertarian for their Christian beliefs.

“Where there is liberty, there is always plenty of space for God,” Paul said, drawing on Corinthians 3:17, which states, “Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

Paul said America was in a “full-blown crisis — a spiritual crisis,” and he said the nation’s moral compass was “wavering.”

“Those of us who love freedom must realize that freedom is not a license to do as you please,” he said. “Freedom can only be realized when citizens know self-restraint, or, put another way, virtue.” Full story

September 10, 2014

Cruz to House GOP: Punt Spending Debate Into 2015

IA POL14 204 080914 445x301 Cruz to House GOP: Punt Spending Debate Into 2015

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Ted Cruz is launching an effort to push the House into a continuing resolution that funds the government into the next Congress.

“It would be a serious mistake for House Republicans to pass a Continuing Resolution that would ensure that Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats would come back to Washington, after many of them will have likely lost their seats, for a no-holds barred lame duck session where they will be free to pass legislation that the American people will never be able to hold them responsible for,” the Texas Republican said in a statement provided to CQ Roll Call.

“Americans cannot trust politicians they can no longer hold accountable at the ballot box,” Cruz said. “The Continuing Resolution should, at a minimum, fund government operations until after the new Congress is sworn in next year; House and Senate Republicans should both insist on this basic principle.”

The statement followed a letter sent by Cruz and Lee to Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., pledging to object to consent requests to move on more contentious proposals in the lame duck.

Full story

September 9, 2014

Reid Warns of Shutdown Showdown Over Immigration (Video)

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Cruz said Tuesday it would be appropriate to add language blocking a “pen and phone” approach from the president on immigration. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday that if a band of Republicans press for language blocking executive actions on immigration, they’re inviting a government shutdown.

“If I have anything to do with it? No, no, no,” the Nevada Democrat said of allowing a vote on such a proposal, as sought by a group of Senate and House conservatives led on the Senate side by Ted Cruz, Jeff Sessions and Mike Lee.

Asked what happens if the senators insist on considering it as part of the continuing resolution debate that’s expected next week, Reid pointed to a risk government funding could lapse.

Full story

July 31, 2014

Sessions, Cruz Helped Sink Border Bills

sessions006 062013 445x302 Sessions, Cruz Helped Sink Border Bills

Cruz, left, and Sessions helped scuttle border supplementals in both the House and Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated, 9:32 p.m. | Two southern Republican senators — Jeff Sessions of Alabama and Ted Cruz of Texas — played outsized roles sinking border supplemental bills on both sides of the Capitol as they demanded a push to end President Barack Obama’s “administrative amnesty.”

Sessions had ripped the House’s border bill as “surrender” to Obama’s plans to reportedly grant deportation relief and work permits to as many as five million more people in the country illegally. And Cruz rallied Republicans to back his legislation aimed at “stopping President Obama’s amnesty.”

Asked Thursday evening about his influence over House members, Sessions told CQ Roll Call, “I’ve been very clear on my views about what the key issues are. The president’s stunning declaration that he’s going to issue a massive amnesty requires Congress to appropriately respond. I think the best way to do that is through the power of the purse and so I just felt that — and I’ve been clear about it so the House members will make up their own mind.”

When pressed on whether he lobbied the Alabama delegation about the House bill, Sessions told CQ Roll Call, “I told them how I felt.” Full story

July 28, 2014

As Ted Cruz Lifts Hold, Diplomats Have a Chance at Confirmation (Video)

judiciary007 052114 445x291 As Ted Cruz Lifts Hold, Diplomats Have a Chance at Confirmation (Video)

( Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

There’s a chance at least some of the ambassadors caught in a legislative holding pattern might be confirmed before the August recess.

While the process of filling the diplomatic corps has been slow in the aftermath of the “nuclear option” standoff last fall, Sen. Ted Cruz said Monday that he had withdrawn his more recent objection.

The Texas Republican had placed a hold on State Department nominees — a move with limited utility in the post-nuclear Senate where Democrats can break filibusters without any GOP votes. Cruz had placed the hold because of last week’s brief Federal Aviation Administration ban on flights by U.S. carriers to Tel Aviv, Israel.

Full story

June 10, 2014

Eric Cantor Defeat a Victory for Ted Cruz?

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(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Ted Cruz’s staff appeared to be in a celebratory mood Tuesday after Eric Cantor’s shocking loss Tuesday night, and that shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Cruz has frequently been a thorn in House GOP leadership’s side, even recently consorting with ForAmerica, a group headed by Brent Bozell, which as explicitly called for Cantor and the rest of the leadership to be tossed overboard for months.

Cruz, who has taken to having secret meetings with small groups of mutiny-minded House conservatives and helped torch GOP leadership’s immigration principles earlier this year, appeared on a conference call with Bozell in April.

Full story

May 12, 2014

Schatz Defends East-West Center From Ted Cruz, Pigs

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Schatz isn’t happy with Cruz. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A senator is vocally contesting the inclusion of a project in his home state in the 2014 ”Congressional Pig Book.”

Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, issued a statement over the weekend touting his effort to preserve (and in fact increase) funding for the East-West Center, a cultural and education exchange center established by Congress in 1960 that’s based in Honolulu.

“For years, the State Department tried to eliminate the center by not requesting funding in the department’s annual budget requests,” the group Citizens Against Government Waste said in the “Pig Book.”

Full story

April 28, 2014

Ted Cruz: John Kerry Should Resign Over Israel ‘Apartheid’ Comment

cruz 017 090413 330x233 Ted Cruz: John Kerry Should Resign Over Israel Apartheid Comment

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Ted Cruz said Secretary of State John Kerry should offer his resignation to President Barack Obama — and the president should accept it — for reportedly saying behind closed doors that Israel was on the path of becoming an “apartheid” state if it doesn’t agree to a two-state peace deal with the Palestinians.

“Secretary Kerry has long experience in foreign policy and he understands that words matter,” the Texas Republican said on the Senate floor. “Apartheid is inextricably associated with one of the worst examples of state-sponsored discrimination in history. … There is no place for this word in the context of the state of Israel.” Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 5:47 p.m.
Ted Cruz

April 24, 2014

Immigration Pushback: 22 Republican Senators Rip Obama for Slowing Deportations

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Sessions (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A group of 22 Senate Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., urged President Barack Obama not to proceed with another plan to limit deportations of immigrants here illegally.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is reviewing immigration policy on Obama’s orders, with an eye toward limiting deportations that break up families — and as an immigration overhaul effort has stalled in the House.

“According to reports, the changes under consideration would represent a near complete abandonment of basic immigration enforcement and discard the rule of law and the notion that the United States has enforceable borders,” the letter said. “Clearly, the urgent task facing your administration is to improve immigration enforcement, not to look for new ways to weaken it.” Full story

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