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Sen. Cruz: We Must Focus on Getting Americans Safely Back to Work

Previews his RECOVERY Act, legislation to help jumpstart the economy, and efforts to fundamentally reassess the U.S.-China relationship

WASHINGTON, D.C. - As leaders in Washington debate a path forward to address the economic crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) yesterday joined ‘Washington Post Live' with Bob Costa and Fox News' ‘The Daily Briefing' with Dana Perino to discuss the RECOVERY Act, legislation Sen. Cruz plans to introduce to get people safely back to work and the economy re-opened. Sen. Cruz also discussed the need to fundamentally reassess the U.S.-China relationship, specifically highlighting his legislative efforts to lessen the United States' dependence on China for life-saving medications and critical minerals. Catch Sen. Cruz's full interview with Bob Costa here and Dana Perino here. Excerpts are included below.

WATCH: Cruz Speaks with Dana Perino on Crossfire Hurricane and the RECOVERY Act

WATCH: Cruz on Washington Post Live: "Congress' Priority Needs to Be Getting People Back to Work"

On the economic crisis facing Americans, Sen. Cruz said,

"There are a lot of people [who] are hurting and we need to have an urgency to fix the underlying problem. And what that means is we need to restart the economy. We need to get people back to work. If you look at what's played out in the last six months, we've got two simultaneous crises. We have a global pandemic that's cost the lives of over six hundred thousand people. And we have an economic catastrophe where over 50, one million Americans have lost their jobs. And the problem is Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats, the bill they're pushing forward is a three trillion dollar spending bonanza that does nothing to bring those jobs back. She's just shoveling cash out the door to her friends. I think our priority should be recovery." (Sen. Cruz, ‘The Daily Briefing,' Fox News, 8/5/2020)

On putting the nation on the path toward recovery, Sen. Cruz said,

"I could tell you in Texas, people want to work. They want to go to work. And so, [I am introducing] what is called the RECOVERY Act, and it's focused on small businesses that are right now just starting to open up their doors. And they're struggling. They don't know if they're going to survive or not. It is reducing the taxes, reducing the regulations on those small businesses so they can grow, so they can prosper, and so they can hire their employees back. We've got to create conditions where people can return to providing for their families. If we keep the economy shut down for months and months and months, the pain and devastation we've seen will only get worse. The answer is to help people get back to work." (Sen. Cruz, ‘Washington Post Live,' 8/5/2020)

On Nancy Pelosi's misguided legislative priorities, Sen. Cruz added:

"Everything about the Pelosi legislation is designed not to create a single job, but to keep everyone unemployed right where they are. Now that is a terrible outcome for the country. And right now, the Republican leadership plan doesn't actually include all that much to create jobs either. I mean, in many ways it's just a smaller version of Nancy Pelosi's plan, neither one of which does a lot to create jobs. It's why [I am introducing] the RECOVERY Act, because our focus, the people who are at home want to be working, and we need to be creating an environment where it's easier for them to work, and work safely." (Sen. Cruz, ‘Washington Post Live,' 8/5/2020)

On Democrats efforts to keep the economy shut down by expanding what was intended to be temporarily unemployment relief, Sen. Cruz said:

"And it's something you see often when people are being demagogues or they paint it as a morality play of good and evil.[...] It's that I actually understand incentives matter. That if you create incentives for work, you get more work. If you create [...] disincentives for work, you get less work. And look [...] if you're a single mom, if you're struggling to feed your family, and suddenly the federal government is paying you a lot more money not to work than to work. [...] You're going to do what they're paying you more for because that's providing for your family. But that's a terrible incentive for you. That's not in the long term helping you, and it's certainly not helping the entire economy and everybody." (Sen. Cruz, ‘Washington Post Live,' 8/5/2020)

On the RECOVERY Act's tax credit for employee COVID-19 testing, Sen. Cruz added:

"Part of the RECOVERY Act is also a tax credit for employers to provide COVID-19 testing for their employees. Listen, everyone wants to be able to go to work and work safely. And the more testing we have that's reliable, the easier it is for people to keep their families safe but also be able to work. And I think we need to be leaning in to creating jobs and reopening the economy." (Sen. Cruz, ‘Washington Post Live,' 8/5/2020)

On the need to bring back critical infrastructure from China to help boost the U.S. economy, Sen. Cruz said:

"And, you know, right in the midst of this pandemic, one of the major government-controlled newspapers in China explicitly threatened to cut off the U.S. supply of pharmaceuticals as a tool of economic warfare during this pandemic. And a huge percentage of our medicines are now manufactured in China. Look, if they were to do that, that wouldn't just be economic warfare. That's actual warfare. They are threatening the health and lives of millions of Americans. So, I've introduced legislation to create strong incentives to bring critical infrastructure, to bring manufacturing, to bring pharmaceuticals, to bring PPE, to bring rare earth minerals, all back to the United States so we're not subject to that kind of economic blackmail." (Sen. Cruz, ‘Washington Post Live,' 8/5/2020)

Sen. Cruz has been leading the fight to help those struggling with the economic devastation of this pandemic. Sen. Cruz has introduced legislation to create hundreds of thousands of jobs and increase wages, legislation to provide small businesses debt relief in the CARES Act for Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans, and legislation to provide tax credits to businesses that test employees for COVID-19.

Learn more about Sen. Cruz's push for a recovery package instead of a relief package here.

WATCH: Cruz on Face the Nation Discusses Need to Pass a Recovery Bill & Hold China Accountable

As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Cruz is also leading the charge to fundamentally reassess the U.S.-China relationship and has introduced legislation to end U.S. dependence on China for rare earth elements and other critical minerals. In April, Sen. Cruz introduced the SCRIPT Act as part of a comprehensive push to combat China's growing influence over what Americans see and hear. He also introduced the BEAMS Act as part of a successful push to prevent the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from blanketing the U.S. with propaganda. After the CCP imposed sanctions against him, Sen. Cruz delivered remarks on the Senate floor to hold China accountable for their coronavirus cover-up and for engaging in censorship and propaganda campaigns in China and here in the United States. In July, Sen. Cruz introduced the Protecting America from Spies Act that would allow the Department of State to deny visas to individuals who have committed acts of espionage or intellectual property theft against the United States. Learn more about Sen. Cruz's push to counter Chinese propaganda here.