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Sen. Cruz on ABC’s This Week: We Need to Pass Grassley-Cruz so We Can Stop Felons, Fugitives and People With Dangerous Mental Illness From Getting Guns and Committing These Horrific Crimes

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September 15, 2019

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HOUSTON, Texas - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today appeared on ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos, where he called on Congress to pass his bipartisan Grassley-Cruz bill, which strengthens background checks by targeting felons, fugitives, and people with dangerous mental illnesses. Sen. Cruz also highlighted the incredible results Republicans have achieved for the American people, including the lowest poverty levels ever reported for both African-Americans and Hispanics.

When asked about the horrific shootings in Texas, Sen. Cruz outlined his efforts to strengthen background checks and prosecute felons and fugitives who try to illegally buy guns: 

“We absolutely need to do more,” Sen. Cruz said. “We need to strengthen background checks. And I’ll tell you, George, I'm a Texan. I was in Odessa in the days following that horrific shooting. I was in El Paso in the days after that shooting. Before that I was in Sutherland Springs the day after that shooting standing in that beautiful sanctuary covered with blood. I was in Santa Fe High School. [...] George, we've seen too damn many of these in the state of Texas so we need to end them, absolutely yes. Now, the question is what do we need to do to actually work? [...]

“Here’s what we need to do. I introduced in 2013, my first few months in the Senate, legislation with Chuck Grassley called Grassley-Cruz that targets felons, it targets fugitives and targets those with dangerous mental illness. It improves and strengthens the background checks. It stops criminals and those with dangerous mental illness from getting firearms and those who commit felonies, it puts them in prison to actually stop these crimes. We got in 2013 a majority of the Senate voted for Grassley-Cruz - 52 senators, 9 Democrats. It got enormous bipartisan support. But sadly, Harry Reid and the Democrats filibustered it, which was a cynical decision. What we need to do right now - we need to take up Grassley-Cruz and pass it so we can stop these felons and fugitives and people with dangerous mental illness from getting guns and committing these horrific crimes.” 

When asked about proposals that would target law-abiding citizens, Sen. Cruz urged President Trump and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to take up and pass Grassley-Cruz:

“You know, George, the problem with that proposal [...] it would not have stopped even a single one of these mass shootings. It's not a proposal designed -- if you say, we want to stop these shootings, their proposal doesn't do it. But you know what it does? As soon as you have every person, private to private transaction, if you have a grandfather giving his grandson a shotgun to go bird hunting - if you have a federal government background check for that, what you will see the next step to be is the only way to enforce that is a federal gun registry and a gun registry is the step you need for gun confiscation. And by the way George, as you know, we now have three of the 10 democratic presidential candidates actively advocating for gun confiscation. They are saying that the federal government is going to come forcibly take your gun. So, look, I think that is a bad idea. The federal government should not be confiscating guns from law-abiding citizens.

“But here’s what we should be doing - we should be doing what will stop murders like this which is taking guns away from felons and fugitives. Which is prosecuting felons and fugitives who try to illegally buy guns. Which is making strawman purchases illegal. I’ve introduced legislation to do that. I’ve pressed for it. I spoke this week to both Mitch McConnell and President Trump, urged both of them, take up Grassley-Cruz, let's stop the criminals and let’s protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.”

On the Democratic presidential candidate’s debate performance, Sen. Cruz outlined the out of touch and radical agenda of the far left that the candidates now embrace:

“I think Thursday night the Democrats galloped even further to the left. If you look at Thursday night, the entire night of the debate not a single Democrat talked about jobs. Not a single Democrat talked about the economy, about the fact that we've got the lowest African-American unemployment ever recorded or the lowest Hispanic unemployment ever recorded. Instead what the Democrats told the American people is they want to raise your taxes, they want to triple the price you pay for a gallon of gas at the pump, they want open borders, they want to take away your health insurance and they want to take away your guns. [...] Show me one steelworker, show me one truck driver, show me one person in America who actually works for a living who is interested in that radical agenda.”

Sen. Cruz also highlighted the incredible economic results achieved under Republican leadership, including record-low poverty levels for African-Americans and Hispanics:

“We've delivered on policy,” Sen. Cruz said. “For two and a half years I've worked very closely with the president and we've seen remarkable results for the American people. We passed the biggest tax cut in a generation. That's a big deal. I worked hard to bring Republicans together to deliver on that. We've repealed hundreds of job-killing regulations. That's incredibly important because the result is the economy has taken off.

“We have the lowest unemployment in 50 years. We've got, you know, the numbers came out just the other day, African-American poverty is the lowest we have ever recorded. Hispanic poverty is the lowest we've ever recorded. Those are real results. 6 million people have come off of food stamps. Those are lives being changed. Not only that, our nation’s safer. We're rebuilding our military. We're standing by our friends and allies. We're standing up to our enemies. And, we've confirmed 150 new constitutionalist judges to the bench. Those are real results.”

Watch Sen. Cruz’s full interview here.

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