February 28, 2013
What an incredible two months! Thank you for allowing me to update you about what I’m working on in Washington and around Texas through this newsletter.
There’s nothing more important than keeping the lines of communication clear between my office and my constituents, and I’d like to use this newsletter to keep you apprised of my positions on various issues, votes I have cast, and major media appearances.
It’s truly an honor to represent you and the great state of Texas in the U.S. Senate. Thank you again for giving me the opportunity to do so.
Senator Cruz has participated in two major hearings about the Second Amendment as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee about the Constitution.
Videos from both hearings have been uploaded to Sen. Cruz’s YouTube page
. This video
includes questions Sen. Cruz asked during the Judiciary hearing about the assault weapons ban, and this video
includes his opening statement at the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights hearing about how to best prevent gun violence.
Policy makers should always be vigilant in working to prevent, deter, and punish violent criminals, but various gun control measures that have been proposed would restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens rather than targeting violent criminals. The Second Amendment exists to ensure that law-abiding Americans can protect their homes and families, and Sen. Cruz looks forward to helping lead the fight to defeat this bill and to protect our constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
Sen. Cruz promised voters that the first bill he would file as a U.S. Senator would be to repeal every last word of the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, that President Obama signed into law on March 23, 2010. Sen. Cruz made good on that promise
by introducing the bill in late January with 32 Republican cosponsors. Since it was made law, Obamcare has driven up the cost of health insurance and caused employers to drop coverage for workers. If it continues to be implemented, it will reduce the quality of healthcare, produce scarcity and rationing, and wedge government bureaucrats between patients and their doctors. Sen. Cruz will continue to work with Texans to expand coverage through effective free-market reforms and to protect the integrity of the doctor-patient relationship.
Last month, President Obama nominated former Sen. Chuck Hagel to become the Secretary of Defense. Chuck Hagel is a decorated Vietnam veteran with an honorable history fighting for his country, and Sen. Cruz commends his personal valor and sacrifice. But, after learning of Hagel’s policy positions that would substantially weaken the U.S.’s posture on the world stage, Sen. Cruz felt compelled to oppose Hagel’s nomination. Sen. Cruz outlined his concerns in op-eds published by Politico
and USA Today
. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, he also participated in Hagel’s confirmation hearings. Videos of his contributions to those hearings are available here
. Two weeks ago, Hagel’s nomination failed to get the 60 votes needed to proceed to confirmation. This week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid held another vote and Hagel was confirmed.
Sen. Cruz had the pleasure of visiting the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas recently. There, he met with several officials and toured the Orion Space Vehicle Mockup Facility.
In mid-February many of Sen. Cruz’s subcommittee assignments were announced.
On the Senate’s Committee on Science, Commerce, and Transportation, Sen. Cruz was named to: the Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security; the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet; the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance; the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard; the Subcommittee on Science and Space; and the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security.
On the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Cruz was named to the: Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights; the Subcommittee on Bankruptcy and the Courts; the Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism; and the Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security.
On the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Cruz was named to the: Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities; the Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support; and the Subcommittee on Seapower.
OTHER VOTES AND NOTES
- IMMIGRATION: A framework for comprehensive immigration reform was recently unveiled by a group of bipartisan senators, and Sen. Cruz appreciates the good work senators in both parties put into trying to fix our broken immigration system. There are some good elements in this proposal, especially increasing the resources and manpower to secure our border and improving and streamlining legal immigration. However, Sen. Cruz has deep concerns with the proposed path to citizenship. To allow those who came here illegally to be placed on such a path is both inconsistent with rule of law and profoundly unfair to the millions of legal immigrants who waited years, if not decades, to come to America legally.
- VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT: Sen. Cruz worked in law enforcement for many years, helping lead the fight to ensure that violent criminals—and especially sexual predators who target women and children—should face the very strictest punishment. Indeed, Sen. Cruz has personally argued and successfully defended the Texas Sexually Violent Predator Civil Commitment law before the Texas Supreme Court, and he has repeatedly argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the very strictest punishments for rapists and violent criminals who target women and children. Nevertheless, he voted against this federal law because stopping and punishing violent criminals is primarily a state responsibility, and the federal government does not need to be dictating state criminal law.
- HURRICANE SANDY RELIEF: Hurricane Sandy inflicted devastating damage on the East Coast, and Congress appropriately responded with hurricane relief. Unfortunately, cynical politicians in Washington could not resist loading up this relief bill with billions in new spending utterly unrelated to Sandy. Emergency relief for the families who are suffering from this natural disaster should not be used as a Christmas tree for billions in unrelated spending, including projects such as Smithsonian repairs, upgrades to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration airplanes, and more funding for Head Start. Two-thirds of this spending was not remotely “emergency”; the Congressional Budget Office estimates that only 30% of the authorized funds would be spent in the next 20 months, and over a billion dollars will be spent as late as 2021. This bill was symptomatic of a larger problem in Washington—an addiction to spending money we do not have. Sen. Cruz believes the United States Senate should not be in the business of exploiting victims of natural disasters to fund pork projects that further expand our debt and voted against this bill.
- STATE OF THE UNION: Following the President’s State of the Union Address in Congress, Sen. Cruz discussed the speech on Fox News with host Sean Hannity. Click here to view the discussion.
300 E. 8th St, Suite #961
Austin, TX 78701
Phone: (512) 916-5834
10440 N Central Expwy, Suite #1160
Dallas, TX 75231
Phone: (214) 361-3500
1919 Smith St., Suite #800
Houston, TX 77002
Phone: (713) 653-3456
|San Antonio Office
3133 General Hudnell Dr., Suite # 120
San Antonio, TX 78226
Phone: (210) 340-2885
B40B Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-5922