March 27, 2015
Recently in the Senate, I have introduced legislation to promote domestic energy production, protect our national security, and uphold religious liberty.I also held a hearing examining the impact of President Obama’s illegal and unconstitutional amnesty.
Sen. Cruz and Rep. Bridenstine Introduce American Energy Renaissance Act
Last week, Sen. Cruz reintroduced the American Energy Renaissance Act to empower the private sector to create good-paying American jobs, spur economic growth and expand opportunity. This legislation will harness our nation’s energy resources and remove federal impediments to energy exploration, development and trade. It will also reduce American dependence on unfriendly nations for our energy needs.
“Today America faces a pivotal question,” said Sen. Cruz. “Will we lead the world into a new generation of American prosperity led by the great American energy renaissance we’re experiencing, or will we instead shut off our borders, erect walls, and allow our friends and allies to be dependent on tyrants like Vladimir Putin or Nicolás Maduro? We need to come together in a bipartisan manner to say we support jobs, we support economic growth, and we support standing united alongside our friends and allies in defense of freedom. This legislation is a win-win. The only thing the federal government needs to do is get out of the way and let Americans do what they do best: dream, innovate, and prosper.”
Among other reforms, this legislation will:
- Enable private sector to build Keystone and leave regulation of hydraulic fracturing in state hands.
- Rein in federal regulations that are stifling growth.
- Expand energy development on federal lands and expand offshore drilling.
- Expand LNG exports by facilitating permits.
- End the crude oil export ban.
Read more about the specific provisions here.
Sen. Cruz and Rep. Franks Introduce Sanction Iran, Safeguard America Act
Last week, Sen. Cruz reintroduced the Sanction Iran, Safeguard America Act to impose sanctions against Iran and help safeguard America in the face of the Obama Administration’s disastrous proposed nuclear deal with Iran.
“As the self-perpetuating negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program drag on, it is time for a moment of clarity,” said Sen. Cruz. “It is time to tell the American people the truth. These talks are not going to prevent the Islamic Republic of Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, from getting a nuclear weapon. The Obama Administration is circumventing the will of the American people, who do not support this deal. This is precisely why the President is proposing that it be made through the United Nations Security Council instead of the United States Congress where Americans have direct representation, as our Constitution demands. Similarly, the President has also suggested he will go through the UN Security Council, circumventing the nation of Israel to impose terms favorable to the Palestinians that Prime Minister Netanyahu, and those who recently re-elected him, do not support.”
Specifically, the Sanction Iran, Safeguard America Act:
- Re-imposes all previous sanctions that the Obama Administration relaxed.
- Expands sanctions related to the petrochemical and automotive sector.
- Prohibits funding for negotiations and implementation of any nuclear agreement with Iran unless congressional approval is reached.
- Gives Iran a clear path towards their removal: dismantling their nuclear program in its entirety; removing all centrifuges, relinquishing enriched uranium, and ceasing all research and development of the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) program.
- Requires Iran to renounce its state-sponsorship of terrorism.
Read the full release here.
Sen. Cruz Introduces Joint Resolutions to Protect Religious Freedom in D.C.
Last week, Sen. Cruz introduced two joint resolutions to overturn recently enacted D.C. Council legislation that undermines religious liberty.
“The D.C. Council is attempting to force religious institutions to provide services, make employment decisions, or participate in activities that directly violate their faith,” said Sen. Cruz. “No government entity should be able to coerce organizations – whether they be non-profits or religious schools – into funding abortion services or promoting gender policy that is contrary to the organization’s fundamental mission.
Sen. Cruz continued, “The D.C. Council is ultimately telling institutions within the District that a day will come when they must make the intolerable choice between complying with the law and abiding by their religious convictions. Rather than discriminating against pro-life and religious organizations, D.C. should welcome diversity of thought and protect the freedom of conscience. We must stop this assault on the Catholic Church, and we must act to protect religious liberty. Congress has a constitutional responsibility to oversee the nation’s capital, and I urge my colleagues in both houses to pass this resolution and affirm the First Amendment rights of all citizens.”
In January, the District enacted the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2014, which could require employers to provide health plans that cover abortion services, and the Human Rights Amendment Act of 2014, which could force religious schools to support activities that violate the tenets of their faith.
Under the Home Rule Act, all legislation passed by the D.C. Council must first be transmitted to Congress for a period of review. If both houses pass a resolution of disapproval that is signed by the President, the legislation in question will not become law. Unless the 114th Congress acts, the tentative enactment date of these bills is April 17, 2015.
Read the full release here.
Sen. Cruz Holds Hearing on Reining in Amnesty
As the Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Sen. Cruz held a hearing on reining in President Obama’s illegal amnesty.
In his opening statement, Sen. Cruz said, “It is no secret that I and many members of the Senate are frustrated with the President’s continued disregard for the Constitution and the rule of law. The administration has over and over again refused to follow federal law, refused to follow the Constitution, whether with regards to Obamacare, whether with regards to the work requirements and our welfare program, or whether with regards to amnesty. 22 times President Obama admitted to the American people he had no legal authority to grant amnesty to those who are here illegally. Indeed, one of those 22 times, he put it this way: ‘I am not an emperor.’ And then sadly, after the last election, apparently things changed, and the legal authority, the constitutional authority, he lacked those preceding 22 times, suddenly, miraculously appeared and I guess using the President’s own formulations, he achieved the power of an emperor. It is disappointing that Congress has not acted more effectively to defend the rule of law, to defend federal immigration laws, which the President has decreed he will not follow, and indeed, he will openly defile.”
He continued, “I’m pleased to say when one branch of the government is not doing its job, reining in the lawlessness of another branch of government, the third branch of government has stepped forward to preform its job, namely the federal judiciary. I’m very proud that my home state of Texas is taking the lead, litigating against the lawlessness of President Obama’s executive amnesty.”
“The purpose of this hearing is to assess the impact of that litigation, to assess the impact of that federal court’s rulings, and to assess the impact of the President’s illegal and unconstitutional executive amnesty if it is allowed to go into effect upon the rule of law, upon all 50 states, and upon the American people.”
At a Commerce hearing with all the Federal Communications Commission commissioners, Sen. Cruz questioned the commissioners regarding their new regulations of the Internet.
He expressed his concern that the newly imposed regulations were neither available for public review nor are conducive to economic growth.
“The Internet has proven to be an incredible haven for innovation and opportunity. And I believe the Commission’s order poses a profound threat to continue innovation on the Internet and in time will hurt small content providers and favor large corporations with influence in Washington. I also believe the order is contrary to law,” Sen. Cruz said.