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The News with Sen. Cruz - May 1, 2015


May 1, 2015


This was a proud week for Texas educators. Shanna Peeples of Amarillo was named the National Teacher of the Year.

Ms. Peeples has dedicated her life to helping students achieve what seems unimaginable. It’s a testament to the impact one teacher can have on the lives of others, and of the hope teachers throughout the state bring to our students.

As teachers finish out the last weeks of the semester, I want to thank them for their tireless efforts to, as Ms. Peeples says, “help write the end of the story for every kid.”

Please keep reading for an update on the latest in the Senate.

Keep Texas strong,

TC Sig
Ted Cruz


Sen. Cruz Introduces Amendment and Calls for Congress to Approve Any Iran Deal

On Wednesday, Sen. Cruz penned an op-ed in Washington Times explaining the necessity for Congress to have proper oversight over any deal President Obama might make with Iran to ensure the Senate has the ability to stop a bad Iran deal that jeopardizes U.S. national security.

“Today, there is no greater threat to U.S. national security than the prospect of a nuclear Iran. Led by theocratic zealots who have pledged to ‘annihilate Israel’ and who regularly lead chants of ‘Death to America,’ an Iran with nuclear weapons poses an unacceptably high risk of murdering millions of Americans or millions of our allies.

“For that reason, the top priority for the Senate should be to stop a bad Iran deal,” Sen. Cruz said.

View the full op-ed here.

Last week, Sen. Cruz filed an amendment to the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, which would require affirmative Congressional approval of any Iranian nuclear deal before sanctions relief can occur.

“Reviewing this deal and deciding whether or not to consent to it may well be the most important function of this Congress. It is not something that should be rushed, and it is imperative that, at the very least, the President obtain majority support for his deal from both Houses of Congress before moving forward,” Sen. Cruz said.

As currently written, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 would first require Congress to pass a resolution of disapproval and then require Congress to muster votes from two-thirds of each chamber to override a Presidential veto. What's more, if Congress failed to act within a set timeframe, the deal would go into effect by default. This process gets the Constitution's allocation of authority precisely backwards.

The Cruz-Toomey amendment would remove these options and restore a more proper process for Congress to exercise its Constitutional power. It would require President Obama to persuade a majority of Senators and Representatives to approve his deal before it goes into effect.

Read the full release here.


Sen. Cruz Introduces USA FREEDOM Act

On Tuesday, Sen. Cruz filed the USA FREEDOM Act with  Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

“A clean reauthorization of the USA PATRIOT Act's bulk record collection program is not acceptable,” said Sen. Cruz. “It is absolutely critical for Congress to balance the privacy interests of law-abiding citizens against the public's interest in national security. The USA FREEDOM Act of 2015 strikes the right balance by ending the National Security Agency's unfettered data collection program and implementing other surveillance reforms, while at the same time preserving the government's ability to obtain information to track down terrorists when it has sufficient justification and support for doing so. I am pleased to join with Senators Lee, Leahy, and others in this bipartisan reform effort, and I look forward to working with both Republican and Democratic colleagues to see that this bill crosses the finish line. Americans deserve nothing less.”


Sen. Cruz Questions DHS Sec. Johnson About Illegal Immigration in Judiciary Hearing

DHS Hearing
Click to view video

On Tuesday, Sen. Cruz questioned Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing regarding the increased security threats due to violent criminals entering the country illegally and, in thousands of cases, being permitted to stay.

In the hearing, Sen. Cruz asked, “You stated your interest just a moment ago at getting at the criminals, which is very much the same as the President's purported justification for his illegal amnesty program, that it would allow the focus of prosecutorial resources on violent criminals. It strikes me that there is a fairly serious problem with that argument, which is namely that the Department is not focusing its resources on violent criminals. Indeed, the number of criminal aliens deported from the interior has declined 23 percent since last year, and declined 39 percent since the peak in 2011, so when it comes to violent criminals, the Department is not stepping up its efforts and indeed, if you look to 2013, in 2013, the Department released 36,007 criminal aliens with serious convictions.”

Sen. Cruz cited the following numbers of criminals being released into the population, as reported by Washington Times:

  • 116 with convictions for homicide;
  • 43 for convictions for negligent manslaughter;
  • 14 for convictions for voluntary manslaughter;
  • 1 with a conviction for something ICE classified as ‘homicide-willful kill-public official-gun’;

Additionally, Sen. Cruz noted that among the thousands of criminal aliens who were released, there were:

  • 15,635 convictions for drunk driving;
  • 2,691 convictions for assault. 

Read the full release here.


Sen. Cruz Introduces Marriage Amendment and Bill to Protect States from Judicial Overreach

Last week, Sen. Cruz filed the Restoration of Marriage Amendment and the Protect Marriage from the Courts Act to guarantee the American people's right to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

“The people should decide the issue of marriage, not the courts,” said Sen. Ted Cruz. “The union of a man and a woman has been the building block of society since the dawn of history, and the people in numerous states have repeatedly affirmed that truth in their laws. Nothing in the Constitution prohibits that. In fact, it is inconceivable that when the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified, Americans would have understood they were sowing the seeds for courts to invalidate traditional marriage. And yet that is precisely what has happened. Judges have taken an unprecedented activist role to strike down state marriage laws. I am proud to introduce this legislation to uphold the institution of marriage and to safeguard the states' authority to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”

The Restoration of Marriage Amendment amends the Constitution to guarantee the right of the people to define marriage in their laws as the union of one man and one woman and to prevent the courts from ever again misconstruing the Constitution to require that marriage or its benefits be extended to unions other than the union of man and woman.

The Protect Marriage from the Courts Act of 2015 bars federal courts from ruling on state marriage laws. Pursuant to Congress' power under Article III of the Constitution to limit the jurisdiction of the lower federal courts and to make exceptions to the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, this legislation restricts the jurisdiction of federal courts to determine the constitutionality of state laws defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.


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