Ted Cruz on Government Reform



Current administration defies Constitution and rule of law

Our nation's founding document and the supreme law of the land was crafted by our founding fathers to act as chains to bind the mischief of government and to protect the liberties endowed to us by our Creator. Unfortunately, recent administrations have defied the Constitution and the rule of law, and as a result we are less free. We need to restore the Constitution as our standard. We need to protect the people by rolling back the federal government to the functions the Constitution sets out. We need to give power back to the states and the people so that we remain a land where liberty can flourish.

Ted Cruz has spent a lifetime fighting to defend the Constitution: 70 Supreme Court briefs authored; 9 arguments in the Supreme Court.

Source: 2016 presidential campaign website TedCruz.org , Mar 15, 2016

Authored 70 Supreme Court briefs & argued 9 cases

Ted Cruz has spent a lifetime fighting to defend the Constitution: 70 Supreme Court briefs authored; 9 arguments in the Supreme Court.
Source: 2016 presidential campaign website TedCruz.org , Mar 15, 2016

Need principled constitutionalist on high court

The court is now hanging in the balance. For voters that care about life or marriage or religious liberty or the Second Amendment, they're asking the question: Beyond a shadow of a doubt, who do you know will nominate principled constitutionalists to the court? I give you my word, every justice I nominate will vigorously defend the Bill of Rights for my children and for yours.
Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary , Feb 25, 2016

80-year history of no Supreme Court changes in election year

We have 80 years of precedent of not confirming Supreme Court justices in an election year. We are one justice away from a Supreme Court that will strike down every restriction on abortion adopted by the states. We are one justice away from a Supreme Court that will reverse one of Justice Scalia's decisions that upheld the right to bear arms. The Senate needs to say, "We're not going to give up the Supreme Court for a generation by allowing Barack Obama to make one more liberal appointee."
Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina , Feb 13, 2016

Executive orders abuse presidential power; undo them all

Q: You've been a persistent critic of Pres. Obama's executive overreach, going it alone, not working with Congress. How do you intend to implement your aggressive agenda within your Constitutional authority?

CRUZ: There are 3 avenues of presidential authority. The 1st is executive power, the 2nd is foreign policy, and the 3rd is legislation. Executive power has been the preferred vehicle of Pres. Obama, abusing his constitutional authority. Now, the silver lining of that is everything done with executive power can be undone with executive power, so I have pledged on day one I will rescind every single illegal and unconstitutional executive action Barack Obama has done. That means on day one his efforts to restrict the Second Amendment go away. That means on day one his illegal executive amnesty goes away. I can end Common Core at the federal level because Obama is abusing executive power using Race to the Top funds in the Department of Education to force it on the states.

Source: 2016 ABC Republican debate on eve of N.H. primary , Feb 6, 2016

Obama-era regulations hurt small business

Sabina Loving is an African-American single mom who started a tax preparation business in Chicago. Then the IRS promulgated new regulations targeting tax preparers. This statute and the IRS had exemptions for lawyers and big fancy accountants, but Sabina had to pay $1,000 an employee. It would have driven her out of business, and Ms. Loving sued the IRS. She took the Obama IRS to court, and she won, and they struck down the rule for picking the big guys over the little guys.
Source: Fox Business/WSJ Second Tier debate , Nov 10, 2015

Eliminate IRS, HUD, and Departments of Commerce & Energy

We rolled out a spending plan: $500 billion in specific cuts--five major agencies that I would eliminate. The IRS, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce, and HUD--and then 25 specific programs.
Source: Fox Business/WSJ Second Tier debate , Nov 10, 2015

Five for Freedom: shutter five cabinet-level agencies

To begin the process of reducing the scope and cost of government, I have identified the Five for Freedom. I will appoint heads of each of those agencies whose central charge will be to lead the effort to wind them down. These cabinet agencies are unnecessary and will be shuttered for the following reasons:
Source: National Review article by Ted Cruz , Nov 10, 2015

If you like special interests, I ain't your guy

Q: Your colleague Senator Paul, right there next to you, said a few months ago he agrees with you on a number of issues, but he says you do nothing to grow the party. He says you feed red meat to the base, but you don't reach out to minorities. You have a toxic relationship with GOP leaders in Congress. You even called the Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell a liar recently. How can you win in 2016 when you're such a divisive figure?

CRUZ: I believe the American people are looking for someone to speak the truth. If you're looking for someone to go to Washington, to go along to get along, to get--to agree with the career politicians in both parties who get in bed with the lobbyists and special interests, then I ain't your guy. There is a reason that we have $18 trillion in debt. Because as conservatives, as Republicans, we keep winning elections, but we don't have leaders who honor their commitments. I will always tell the truth and do what I said I would do.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript , Aug 6, 2015

Limits on individual campaign donations make things worse

For a statewide Senate race, we calculated that we'd need a minimum of $5 million, and ideally $10 million. In that effort, we confronted a problem--the federal government's campaign finance laws. A great many people, backed by the media, proclaim the need to control the amount of money being spent on political campaigns. Campaign finance laws are the Holy Grail of so-called good-government types who want to do SOMETHING to fix the problem. As is often the case in Washington, their solution makes things worse.

In Texas state government races, there are no limits on individual donations under state campaign finance laws. This had made it a lot easier for an unknown like me in the attorney general's race to raise money from a committed group of donors, compete, and potentially win against entrenched incumbents.

Source: A Time for Truth, by Ted Cruz, p.200-1 , Jun 30, 2015

Campaign finance laws function as incumbent protection

In Texas state government races, there are no limits on individual donations under state campaign finance laws. This had made it a lot easier for an unknown like me to raise money from a committed group of donors.

By contrast, federal campaign finance laws make such an effort impossible in a race for US Senate. They impose strict limits on the amount any individual can contribute, in effect rewarding candidates with deep pockets who can self-finance (since there are no limits on what you can donate to yourself) or those who are already well-known across the state. Written by political incumbents, these rules function as incumbent protection laws, designed to combat what they see as a great evil--that some outsider could raise enough money to defeat them.

As a result (and by design), it is practically impossible for someone who is not an incumbent politician--without an existing, massive fund-raising apparatus--to raise enough money in small increments to run statewide in a large state like Texas.

Source: A Time for Truth, by Ted Cruz, p.200-1 , Jun 30, 2015

Citizens United is free speech; opposing it is censorship

When a conservative group made a movie about Hillary Clinton (Hillary: The Movie), the Obama administration tried to fine the moviemaker. The group's name was Citizens United. Citizens United sued on the grounds that the group was exercising its right to free speech under the First Amendment, and the case went to the Supreme Court.

The Obama administration was asked at an oral argument if it could prohibit a company from using its general treasury funds to publish a book that discusses the American political system for five hundred pages and then, at the end, says "Vote for X." President Obama's lawyer said, flat out, "Yes."

These radical claims for the authority to ban books and movies led me to dub the amendment's proponents the "Fahrenheit 451 Democrats," after Ray Bradbury's dystopian classic about book-burning government power run amok.

Source: A Time for Truth, by Ted Cruz, p.314-5 , Jun 30, 2015

World Court has no authority to bind US justice system

Our argument [against Texas having to follow World Court rulings] was that the President Bush's order usurped the authority of the Supreme Court.

With an opinion written by Chief Justice Roberts, the Supreme Court agreed with Texas that the World Court had no authority whatsoever to bind the U.S. justice system. At the same time, it struck down the president's order, concluding it was unconstitutional for the president to unilaterally surrender the sovereignty of the United States of America.

Source: A Time for Truth, by Ted Cruz, p.165-6 , Jun 30, 2015

Executive actions override Congress & the Constitution

Q: The president says there is a long precedent for chief executives to take executive action on immigration:

(VIDEO CLIP) OBAMA: The actions I'm taking are not only lawful, they're the kinds of actions taking by every single Republican president and every single Democratic president for the past half century.

Q: Senator, Presidents Reagan and Bush 41 took executive action to grant legal status to about a million and a half people who are in this country illegally. What's the difference?

CRUZ: The difference between Reagan and Bush is both of them were working with Congress and implementing congressional statutes. Congress can change the immigration law and the president can put congressional will into effect. The difference here is this is not a president who wants to work with Congress. Rather, this is a president who is openly defying Congress. [This] stops having a constitutional system of checks & balances, and we move just to unilateral executive authority. It's the power of a monarch

Source: Fox News Sunday 2014 interview of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 23, 2014

Stop IRS from asking: 'tell me the content of your prayers'

Defend the Constitution--all of it. Defend the First Amendment, the right to free speech, the right to a free press. For all of our friends in the media, a free press means not having government monitors sitting in your news room. The right to freedom of religion and that means, among other things, not having the IRS asking citizens: 'tell me the content of your prayers.' We need to stand for the Second Amendment, the right to keep and bear arms. We need to stand for the Fourth and Fifth Amendment's right to privacy for every American. How many of you have your cell phones? I'm going to ask you to, please, leave them on. I want to make sure that President Obama hears everything I have to say this morning.
Source: Speech at 2014 CPAC convention , Mar 7, 2014

Presidents should not pick & choose laws to enforce

We need to stop the lawlessness. This president of the United States is the first president we've ever had who thinks he can choose which laws to enforce and which laws to ignore. He announces, just about every day, one change after another, after another, and ObamaCare, it is utterly lawless, it is inconsistent with our Constitution and it ought to trouble everyone, Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians. Let me tell you something, if you have a president who is picking and choosing which laws to follow, and which laws to ignore, you no longer have a president.
Source: Speech at 2014 CPAC convention , Mar 7, 2014

End Washington cronyism via Congressional term limits

We need to end the corruption. We need to end corporate welfare and crony capitalism. If you come to Washington and serve in Congress, there should be a lifetime ban on lobbying.

We need to pass a strong constitutional amendment that puts into law term limits.

There are lots of voices in Washington that say 'no, no, no, this is too bold.' 'You can't stand against the IRS, that's too extreme.' 'You can't say repeal ObamaCare, that's really a bit much. Let's just modify it.' 'You' can't not bankrupt the country, let's just slow it down a little bit.' A friend of mine suggested a bumper sticker slogan, "Republicans, we waste less." You win elections by standing for principle, inspiring people that there is a better tomorrow.

Source: Speech at 2014 CPAC convention , Mar 7, 2014

Obama dishonors Constitution by bypassing Congress

Rule of law means that we are a nation ruled by laws, not men. That no one--and especially not the president--is above the law. For that reason, the US Constitution imposes on every president the express duty to "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed."

Yet rather than honor this duty, Pres. Obama has openly defied it by repeatedly suspending, delaying and waiving portions of the laws he is charged to enforce. When Obama disagreed with federal immigration laws, he instructed the Justice Department to cease enforcing the laws. He did the same thing with federal welfare law, drug laws and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

On many of those policy issues, reasonable minds can disagree. Obama may be right that some of those laws should be changed. But the typical way to voice that policy disagreement, for the preceding 43 presidents, has been to work with Congress to change the law. If the president cannot persuade Congress, then the next step is to take the case to the American people

Source: Wall Street Journal editorial on 2014 State of the Union , Jan 28, 2014

Obama's executive orders is open door for future lawlessness

In the past, when Republican presidents abused their power, many Republicans--and the press--rightly called them to account. Today many in Congress--and the press--have chosen to give President Obama a pass on his pattern of lawlessness, perhaps letting partisan loyalty to the man supersede their fidelity to the law.

But this should not be a partisan issue. In time, the country will have another president from another party. For all those who are silent now: What would they think of a Republican president who announced that he was going to ignore the law, or unilaterally change the law? Imagine a future president setting aside environmental laws, or tax laws, or labor laws, or tort laws with which he or she disagreed.

That would be wrong--and it is the Obama precedent that is opening the door for future lawlessness. Because when a president can pick and choose which laws to follow and which to ignore, he is no longer a president.

Source: Wall Street Journal editorial on 2014 State of the Union , Jan 28, 2014

Debt ceiling limits "blank check" of federal spending

Q: Will you agree to raise the debt ceiling or demand something in return?

CRUZ: Of course we should do something. We shouldn't just write a blank check. Five years ago, the national debt was $10 trillion. Today, it's over $17 trillion. It's grown nearly 70% with one president in five years. Ask any American outside of Washington, "Should we just keep raising the debt ceiling while doing nothing to have fundamental structural control of spending?" In the past, the debt ceiling has been the most effective lever point for real structural reforms whether it was Graham-Rudman, which did great job of getting government spending under control, or whether it was the Budget Control Act. Both of those came through the debt ceiling. And what the president is saying is he just wants a blank credit card to keep growing and growing the dealt. And I think that's irresponsible. I think it's irresponsible to our kids and grandkids to stick that debt on them, because we can't live within our means.

Source: Face the Nation 2014 interview: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jan 26, 2014

Dems want to get as many Americans as possible dependent

Sadler was on the attack from the opening question, when Cruz said: "Part of the philosophy of Pres. Obama and this administration is trying to get as many Americans as possible dependent on government so the Democrats can stay in power in perpetuity."

"That's the craziest thing I've ever heard in my life," Sadler responded. "You are really accusing the president of the United States of using a government program to manipulate people to not get a job, to be dependent on government for services. That's just crazy, Ted. It's crazy."

Cruz replied, "I'm impressed that we're a few minutes into it and you've already called me three times crazy on observing that the president has expanded government dependency."

Several times during the debate, a visibly angry Sadler accused Cruz of lying. At times he laughed derisively while Cruz responded to a question.

Source: Houston Chronicle on 2012 Texas Senate debate , Oct 3, 2012

Head of the Center for Tenth Amendment Studies

Ted has been on the forefront of reclaiming the Constitution and defeating Pres. Obama's agenda. As the head of the Texas Public Policy Foundation's Center for Tenth Amendment Studies, Ted took a leading national role in fighting for States' rights and against excessive federal regulation: championing the 10th Amendment; speaking and writing nationally on the virtues of federalism; and why excessive regulation and federal government intrusion threaten to destroy America's free-market economy.
Source: Campaign website, www.tedcruz.org, "Issues" , Jul 17, 2011

Require voters to show ID to avoid voter fraud

Voter fraud is a serious problem threatening the integrity of our democratic process. Ted Cruz has successfully defended laws requiring voters to show identification and other voter fraud prevention laws that are vital to preserve the integrity of our elections.
Source: Campaign website, www.tedcruz.org, "Issues" , Jul 17, 2011

Identify constitutionality in every new congressional bill.

Cruz signed the Contract From America

The Contract from America, clause 1. Protect the Constitution:

Require each bill to identify the specific provision of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do what the bill does.

Source: The Contract From America 10-CFA01 on Jul 8, 2010

Audit federal agencies, to reform or eliminate them.

Cruz signed the Contract From America

The Contract from America, clause 5. Restore Fiscal Responsibility & Constitutionally Limited Government in Washington:

Create a Blue Ribbon taskforce that engages in a complete audit of federal agencies and programs, assessing their Constitutionality,

Source: The Contract From America 10-CFA05 on Jul 8, 2010

Moratorium on all earmarks until budget is balanced.

Cruz signed the Contract From America

The Contract from America, clause 9. Stop the Pork:

Place a moratorium on all earmarks until the budget is balanced, and then require a 2/3 majority to pass any earmark.

Source: The Contract From America 10-CFA09 on Jul 8, 2010

Prohibit IRS audits targeting Tea Party political groups.

Cruz co-sponsored Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act

Congressional summary:: Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act: Requires the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) standards and definitions in effect on January 1, 2010, for determining whether an organization qualifies for tax-exempt status as an organization operated exclusively for social welfare to apply to such determinations after enactment of this Act. Prohibits any regulation, or other ruling, not limited to a particular taxpayer relating to such standards and definitions.

Proponent's argument in favor (Heritage Action, Feb. 26, 2014): H.R. 3865 comes in the wake of an attack on the Tea Party and other conservative organizations. The current IRS regulation is so broad and ill-defined that the IRS applies a "facts and circumstances" test to determine what constitutes "political activity" by an organization. This test can vary greatly depending on the subjective views of the particular IRS bureaucrat applying the test. IRS employees took advantage of this vague and subjective standard to unfairly delay granting tax-exempt status to Tea Party organizations and subject them to unreasonable scrutiny.

Text of sample IRS letter to Tea Party organizations:We need more information before we can complete our consideration of your application for exemption. Please provide the information requested on the enclosed Information Request by the response due date. Your response must be signed by an authorized person or officer whose name is listed on your application.

Source: H.R.3865 & S.2011 14-S2011 on Feb 11, 2014

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