Sen.Ted Cruz

Capital Tonight: Sen. Cruz returns to Texas

Freshman Sen. Ted Cruz stopped by a gun manufacturing business in Leander Tuesday to reiterate his stance on gun control.

“I will fight every day to protect our constitutional right to bear arms,” Cruz said.

Karina Kling spoke with Harold Cook and Ted Delisi about Cruz’s growing influence in Washington. They also discussed Sen. John Cornyn and how the possibility of a primary challenger might be affecting his votes.


Funding infrastructure

Transportation is a top issue this legislative session. Tuesday, TxDOT hosted its annual Texas Transportation Forum in Austin. Innovate funding ideas, such as toll roads, could help fund future road building in Texas.



Gridlock in Washington

President Obama spoke about the challenges Washington lawmakers face in trying to avoid the sequester scheduled for March 1, which would automatically cut $1.2 trillion in spending from defense and social programs.


Click the image below to watch Tuesday’s full episode.

Texas GOP lawmakers respond to State of the Union

Texas republicans were quick to respond to President Obama’s State of the Union address. Here’s a collection of some of their email statements. 

Sen. Ted Cruz:

President Obama only knows how to grow government, not the economy.

Under President Obama, the economy is entering its fifth year of substandard annual growth – 0.8% on average — compared to an average of 3.3% for the last 70 years.

If the President’s big-government policies were enacted, they would make it harder for the 23 million people out of work to find a job, harder for young people coming out of school to find their first job, and harder for Hispanics and African Americans struggling to achieve the American dream.

There is potential for real bipartisan cooperation in Congress to get the economy growing and help people get back to work, but expanding government spending, debt, taxes, and control of the economy will only make the problem worse.

Sen. John Cornyn

“Each year the President has promised, pledged, and pivoted, but American families continue to confront persistently high unemployment, rising health care costs, and the prospect of losing more of their hard-earned paychecks to tax increases.

“If we want to grow the nation’s economy and create jobs, Washington needs to embrace the Texas model. I will continue to push this President to adopt our proven formula of limited government, low taxes, and sensible regulations – because America can, and should, do much better.”

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst:

At a time in our nation’s history when Americans should be coming together to heal our more perfect Union, President Barack Obama is once again delivering a State of the Union speech that panders to the liberal elite, while creating more division among Americans.

President Obama says he wants to attract more jobs to America, get Americans the skills that they need, and ensure everyone has a chance of success. Mr. President, actions speak louder than words.

President Obama is proposing an answer to America’s economic crisis.  Well, I can answer that in one word, five letters: Texas.  If only he’d listen.

I have worked with conservative leaders to build the best business climate in the world right here in the Lone Star State. What exactly does that mean? It means cutting taxes 51 times in the last decade. It means cutting the state budget by billions of dollars. It means stopping all liberal attempts at imposing a state income tax. It means having the lightest regulatory hand in the country.  It means getting government out of your lives.  And It means not caving in to unions who care more about lining their coffers than in helping to produce jobs.

And what has that commitment to fiscally conservative policies meant for Texas?  According to the Texas Comptroller, Texas’ GDP for 2013 will grow 3.4%, compared to 1.7% for the rest of America.  Our economy is growing at twice the rate of the rest of the country.  We’ve been rated the #1 state to do business. We’re the nation’s top exporting state – and have been for 10 years running. We are ranked 48th out of 50 states in per capita state spending.  And we’ve created more jobs than any other state in the nation by leaps and bounds. To put that into perspective, for the last three years we’ve created more jobs than all other 49 states combined.

If President Obama would pay attention to the Texas Miracle, our nation wouldn’t be falling behind China today. While many Americans continue to lose hope because they cannot find a job, President Obama continues to plunge our nation further and further into debt.

For centuries, Americans have given their lives, toiled with their hands, spent years learning – all in the hopes that they would provide a better life for their children and grandchildren. It is the foundation of the American Dream — the Dream that President Obama is making more difficult to achieve with each passing day.

In Texas, we fight for the American Dream daily, and I will not relent in this battle. Texas is a place of big dreams and quiet miracles. It’s a place where every day, anybody from any background can scale heights as improbable as they are breathtaking.

And maybe that’s why Washington just won’t pay attention.


Cruz introduces “Obamacare” repeal bill; admits it won’t pass

Sen. Ted Cruz is making good on a campaign promise.  Today, he introduced a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. 

Cruz admits, however, the Obama adminsitration’s health care law will likely remain on the books.

In an email statement, he said:

“Unfortunately, this bill will not pass in the current Congress, but I will continue working hard until we have the votes to repeal Obamacare in its entirety.  Obamacare was passed over the strong opposition of the American people, and it has already driven up the cost of health insurance and caused employers to drop their coverage.”

This is the first bill Sen. Cruz has filed since taking office in January.  It has 32 co-sponsors, including fellow Texan, Sen. John Cornyn.


Sen. Cruz concerned with “path to citizenship”

Sen. Ted Cruz issued this statement in response to a bipartisan Senate plan to reform immigration:

“I appreciate the good work that senators in both parties have 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 also improving and streamlining legal immigration. However, I have 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.”


Sen. Cruz takes aim at assault weapons ban bill

U.S. Sen Ted Cruz is coming out strong against an assault weapons ban being proposed in Congress. 

Congressional Democrats reintroduced the legislation on Capitol Hill today.  The measure is authored by Democrat Dianne Feinstein; who wrote the original legislation during the Clinton administration.  The bill is part of a larger gun safety package being supported by President Obama.

Critics have said the ban would be ineffective and the National Rifle Association has strongly opposed it.

Sen. Cruz voiced his opposition today, accusing lawmakers of politicizing the Sandy Hook school shooting.  In a statement, he said:

“Real assault weapons—machine guns—are already functionally illegal, and they have been since 1934. This proposal would have done nothing to prevent the terrible murders in Newtown, but it would limit the constitutional liberties of law-abiding citizens. And gun control doesn’t work – the empirical data overwhelmingly demonstrate that strict gun-control laws consistently produce more crime and more murders.

The Second Amendment exists to ensure that law-abiding Americans can protect their homes and families, and I look forward to helping lead the fight to defeat this bill and to protect our constitutional right to keep and bear arms.”




Sean Rushton

Sen. Cruz home from first official trip abroad

Senator Ted Cruz returned home today from his first visit as senator to Afghanistan and Israel.

In a statement released this morning, Cruz’s office announced that he and four other Senators, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, met with U-S military personnel on the ground in Afghanistan.

U.S. combat troops are scheduled to leave the country by the end of 2014.  The purpose of the weekend visit was to talk about the political, economic, and security issues on the ground and get an update on the training of Afghan forces. 

Cruz’s office said in addition to visiting with U.S. troops, the Senator also met with Major General Larry Nicholson and General John Allen.

Cruz, McConnell, and the rest of the delegation also visited Israel, where they met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


Cruz names Chip Roy Chief of Staff

In one of his first major staffing decisions, Sen.-elect Ted Cruz has named Chip Roy as his chief of staff.

Roy is an attorney. He worked as a senior advisor on Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential campaign. Before that, Perry appointed him as director of State-Federal Relations.

In an email statement today, Cruz said:

“Chip brings an incredible range of talents to the table. His experience in the U.S. Senate combined with his years of service as a federal prosecutor and work in state government, campaigns and the private sector make him uniquely qualified to serve Texas in this role. Moreover, he is a proud Texan and a principled movement conservative who was an early supporter of my campaign. I have known him for years and I am grateful to him and his family for agreeing to join me in this important job.”

Gov. Perry also weighed in on Cruz’s choice. He issued a statements saying:

“Senator-elect Cruz’s selection of Chip is great news for Texas. While I will miss his trusted counsel and consistent voice for liberty, he will take that much needed voice to Washington and serve Ted and our great state well.”

Ted Cruz selected to serve as NRSC Vice Chair

Updated to add Ted Cruz statement

Sen.-elect Ted Cruz will serve as the Vice Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. His selection was announced today; the same day his fellow Senator John Cornyn was elected Minority Whip.

As Vice Chair, Cruz will work to help get republicans elected to the Senate during the 2014 elections. He will serve alongside Ohio Sen. Rob Portman. Portman was widely considered to seek the chairman spot. He instead opted for a lesser role in the committee. Both will serve under Chairman Sen. Jerry Moran.

Cruz issued this statement, following today’s announcement.

"I’m honored by this selection," Cruz said. "Our country faces grave fiscal and economic challenges, and I’m very glad to have the opportunity to do everything I can to help retire Harry Reid as Majority Leader. It’s critical that Constitutional conservatives have a strong voice within the NRSC so that together we may build upon lessons learned from this election cycle and elect strong candidates who are committed to pro-growth economics and restraining the job-killing growth of the federal government."

Sen. John Cornyn, who served as the NRSC chairman this election cycle, issued this statement congratulating Cruz:

“A strong conservative and gifted campaigner, Ted has quickly proven himself to be among the next generation of leaders of the Republican party and I know our candidates will be in good hands under his leadership.”

New Cruz ad highlights family story

Republican candidate for Senate Ted Cruz is out with a new television ad. The :30 second spot is called "American Dream," and starts airing, today. In it, Cruz talks about his father’s journey from Cuba to Texas, and promises to fight to protect the American dream.

Cruz faces Democrat Paul Sadler in the Nov. 6 election. The latest poll, conducted by the Sadler campaign, puts Cruz in the lead by 17 points.

You can watch Cruz’s new TV ad, below:

Cruz to headline RNC convention

The Republican National Committee announced Wednesday U.S. Senate nominee Ted Cruz will be the headliner at the party’s upcoming convention in Tampa Bay.

Cruz, a darling of the Tea Party, is the former Texas Solicitor General who won the nomination last Tuesday, beating Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

The 2012 Republican National Convention will be held at the Tampa Bay Times Forum Aug. 27-30.

YNN’s Capital Tonight Team will be there bringing you live coverage throughout the week.