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Sen. Cruz Discusses Efforts to Expand School Choice and Encourages Students to Embrace Civil Discourse

Delivers remarks at ALEC’s 2018 State & Nation Policy Summit, delivers keynote address at the Center for Politics’ 20th Annual American Democracy Conference

November 29, 2018

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today delivered remarks at the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) 2018 States & Nation Policy Summit, before delivering the keynote address at the Center for Politics’ 20th Annual American Democracy Conference. 

During his remarks at the 2018 States & Nation Policy Summit, Sen. Cruz commended the men and women of ALEC for championing innovative policy within the states. 

“Men and women of ALEC, y’all are innovators and you are working day in and day out in the laboratories of democracy,” Sen. Cruz said. “As you know, that’s what Louis Brandeis called federalism: our 50 states. And we have an advantage – it’s a powerful advantage – our ideas work. Freedom works. If you look at policy and innovations that have originated in the states, that have flourished in the states, policy innovations like welfare reform, like school choice, like innovative health care approaches, it is the men and women here are driving that.”

Sen. Cruz also discussed his Student Opportunity Amendment, and highlighted the opportunities to expand school choice in the state legislatures.

“We passed the most far-reaching federal school choice legislation that has ever passed into law,” Sen. Cruz said. “And that potentially benefits up to 50 million school kids nationwide. It also provides an opportunity for each and every one of you, because a great many states across the country provide state tax credits for contributing to 529s. Which if there is state policy, doing that amplifies the effect of the change in federal law. So that’s one area I would encourage each of you to go back and say with this expansion of this tax advantage saving vehicle, what policies can we in the state implement to give parents [and grandparents] more power to save their own resources, to empower and make educational choices for their kids. That there is an accelerator effect of state policy that encourages those contributions.”

During his keynote address at the Center for Politics’ 20th Annual American Democracy Conference, Sen. Cruz highlighted the economic and legislative victories achieved by Congress in the last year. 

“‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.’ Those were the words that Charles Dickens begins A Tale of Two Cities with. And I think those words describe in many ways where the American political process is right now today,” Sen. Cruz said. “We are seeing on substance, on policy, I think very significant victories for the American people. If you look at how the economy is going right now, the economic picture a few months ago the New York Times wrote: ‘it is impossible to say enough good things about these job numbers.’ Which you know was painful for the New York Times to write those words. But if you look at our economic prospects right now we’ve got the lowest unemployment in decades. We’ve got the lowest African American unemployment that’s ever been recorded. We’ve got the lowest Hispanic unemployment that has ever been recorded. We have the lowest Asian American unemployment that’s ever been recorded. We have the lowest unemployment for women in 70 years. And, we have the lowest unemployment for young people in 52 years. We’ve got a lot of students here, a lot of young people who will be coming out of school – hopefully getting jobs – those are encouraging times when you see the economy booming. And I believe the reason the economy is booming is it is a direct result of cutting taxes and cutting job killing regulations. On the policy side, I think we’ve seen very positive steps forward. When it comes to national security and foreign policy, I think we’ve also seen very strong steps forward. I think America today is standing more closely with our friends and allies, and we have been defeating our enemies. That is a strong position for the country to be in.”

Sen. Cruz then provided a message of support to the students in attendance to continue political discussions and to embrace civil discourse. 

“Much of the next two years from my perspective, I want to focus on moving people’s hearts and minds,” Sen. Cruz said. “On talking about substance and issues. And one thing I would encourage to each of you – look there are people in this room who have a whole variety of political views. That’s a wonderful thing. Let me encourage each of you to embrace civil discourse. To embrace discussions of ideas.”

Watch Sen. Cruz’s remarks at the States & Nation Policy Summit here

Watch Sen. Cruz’s remarks at the Center for Politics’ 20th Annual American Democracy Conference here and below.

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