February 5, 2016
This week, I was pleased to work with fellow Texans, Sen. John Cornyn, Rep. Pete Olson, and Rep. Lamar Smith, along with Rep.Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), to file a bipartisan, pro-life amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Texas H.B. 2, which establishes standards for abortion providers and facilities. This brief defends the ability of state legislatures across the country to enact medical protections for women.
Texas H.B. 2 simply ensures that abortion clinics are held to the same medical standards as other medical facilities, which is a commonsense and necessary regulation. While the most zealous abortion advocates do everything in their power to establish abortion-on-demand, I will keep fighting to protect the sanctity of life and the health of women.
Please keep reading for an update on the latest in the Senate.
Keep Texas Strong,
Cruz, Cornyn Lead Coalition Filing Amicus Brief in Support of Texas H.B. 2
On Wednesday, Sens. Cruz and Cornyn, along with Reps. Vicky Hartlzer (R-Mo.), Pete Olson (R-Texas), and Lamar Smith (R-Texas), led a broad congressional coalition filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Texas H.B. 2, which establishes standards for abortion providers and facilities. The Supreme Court will hear arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt later this spring.
“Those who advocate for abortion often claim that it should be ‘safe, legal, and rare,’” Sen. Cruz said. “Unfortunately, abortion is not always ‘safe’ for women. Not long ago, we saw just how dangerous an unscrupulous abortionist can be. Kermit Gosnell, who ran a Philadelphia abortion mill, treated his women patients little better than the unborn babies he slaughtered. He subjected the women in his care to unsanitary, degrading, and inhumane treatment, undermining their dignity and health, and even taking one of their lives. In response to this horror, the Texas Legislature enacted H.B. 2, just like other state legislatures across the country, to ensure that abortion clinics are held to the same medical standards as other medical facilities. But even this commonsense regulation for the protection of women is too much for the abortion lobby, which has challenged the regulation all the way to the Supreme Court. For the most zealous abortion advocates, nothing—not even women’s health—can be allowed to stand in the way of abortion-on-demand. Today, a bipartisan group of 174 members of Congress have filed an amicus brief in defense of the right of legislatures across the country to enact medical protections for women. I am honored to have worked with my fellow senator from Texas, John Cornyn, and with Reps. Vicky Hartzler, Pete Olson, and Lamar Smith to bring this mighty coalition together.”
Read Sen. Cruz’s full release here.
ICANN CEO Should Not Support Chinese Internet Censorship
On Thursday, Sens. Cruz, James Lankford (R-Okla.), and Mike Lee (R-Utah) sent a letter to Fadi Chehade, CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), currently under contract with the federal government. The senators raised serious concerns and requested information regarding Mr. Chehade’s involvement with the World Internet Conference, organized by the Chinese government, a regime notorious for its censorship of the Internet and criminalization of forms of online speech.
“As you must know, the World Internet Conference is not a beacon of free speech,” Cruz, Lankford, and Lee wrote. “It has been heavily criticized by members of the press for refusing to allow China-based reporters for the New York Times and Washington Post to cover the conference. Reporters Without Borders demanded an international boycott of the conference, calling China the ‘enemy of the Internet.’ In addition, GreatFire co-founder, Charlie Smith, described foreign guests of the Conference as ‘complicit actors in the Chinese censorship regime and are lending legitimacy to Lu Wei, CAC and their heavy-handed approach to Internet governance. They are, in effect, helping to put all Chinese who stand for their constitutional right to free speech behind bars.’”
The senators continued: “ICANN’s participation in the World Internet Conference is especially concerning because of the Chinese government’s long and established record of restricting free access to the Internet, censoring content, and criminalizing certain forms of online speech.
Read the full letter and release here
Rep. Meadows Introduces Cruz Bill Honoring Chinese Dissidents
Sen. Cruz on Tuesday announced that legislation to rename the plaza in front of the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C. as “Liu Xiaobo Plaza,” after pro-democracy dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Liu Xiaobo, (S. 2451) has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.). Dr. Liu and his wife, Liu Xia, have been imprisoned for seeking basic human rights denied to them by the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Detained in 2008, Dr. Liu continues to be unjustly imprisoned under the authority of PRC President Xi Jinping. Dr. Liu was one of the authors of “Chapter 08,” an anti-Communist manifesto calling for political freedom and human justice in China.
“I believe that we have a moral responsibility not to marginalize Dr. Liu and his brave fellow dissidents, but to make their plight central to all our dealings with the PRC,” Sen. Cruz said. “This would be the street sign that the Chinese ambassador would look at each day. This would be the address that every piece of correspondence going into the embassy and coming out of the embassy would have written on it. I thank my colleague in the House, Rep. Mark Meadows, for standing with me on this issue and standing up for the people of China who so desperately yearn for freedom.”
Read Sen. Cruz’s full release here.
Riverbend Water Resources District Visits Sen. Cruz D.C. Office
On Thursday, David Davis, Kelly Mitchell, Elizabeth Fazio, John Whitson, and Larry Meyers with the Riverbend Water Resources District visited Sen. Cruz’s staff in Washington, D.C. The group, based in Texarkana, primarily discussed water resources and supplies in East Texas.
A Regional Update from Sen. Cruz’s Austin Office
This week, staff from Sen. Cruz’s office in Austin attended a press conference to support and thank the many Texas leaders who have filed amicus briefs in support of Texas H.B. 2. As many as 34 organizations, including Texas Values, Texas Right to Life, Texas Eagle Forum, Concerned Women for America of Texas, Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, Texas Center for Defense of Life, and others have joined arm-in-arm with Sen. Cruz and other congressional leaders in Washington, along with 10 governors, to defend commonsense safety standards.