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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today named Boris Ryvkin National Security Advisor, serving in his Washington, D.C. office.

“I am grateful to have Boris joining our senior staff team and look forward to working with him as we defend and promote the policies that will keep both Texas and the United Sates strong and secure,” Sen. Cruz said. “Boris has proven his exceptional legal skills and qualifications during his time in private practice, and his policy talent at the American Enterprise Institute and Hudson Institute. Texans will be served well by his leadership and qualifications on important matters of national security.”

Ryvkin was most recently an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, where he gained valuable experience in domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, securities regulation, and general corporate matters. Prior to that, he served as an associate at Clifford Chance US LLP, where he worked in general corporate matters, insurance regulatory matters, syndicated lending and banking, and asset finance transactions. As an intern at the Hudson Institute, he developed policy papers on NATO operations in Afghanistan and Russo-Iranian military cooperation. His analysis on American foreign policy, Russian military operations, and geopolitical strategy in Syria have been featured in publications including the Atlantic Sentinel, The Eastern Project, and Business Insider. Ryvkin received a bachelor’s degree from Brown University, where he graduated with honors, and a law degree from Cornell University.

‘I think it’s going to be a real test to see whether they’re going to follow the Elizabeth Warren-Bernie Sanders wing of the party or whether they’re going to return to the tradition of giving the President an up or down vote on who is the Supreme Court nominee.’

 WASHINGTON – Today U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) joined MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”, CNN’s “New Day”, and Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” to discuss the Senate Judiciary Confirmation hearing for Judge Neil Gorsuch to be the next Supreme Court Justice.

On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”:

 “I think it’s an opportunity for all of us to examine the man, his record, and to say this is a type of person who should serve on the Supreme Court. You may not have liked the outcome of the election, but President Trump gets the opportunity to nominate an individual, and he has. And he’s made a good choice in my view. So I think this is a good chance to stop the sort of partisan warfare over judicial nominations.”

 On CNN’s “New Day”:

“The Judge is going to have to do what Ruth Bader Ginsburg and all other judges acting ethically do, which is to not prejudge cases that may come before the Court. He’s not a politician running on a platform… I think he is enormously well-qualified. It’s going to be very interesting to see what my Democrat friends do, whether they’re going to try to filibuster his nomination or not. My hope is that they decide that that would be the wrong thing to do.”

 On Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom”:

“He’s got a distinguished record as a judge. He is what I would call a traditional judge; in other words, he is not somebody who believes that judges should be policy makers wearing black robes, and who don’t run for office like politicians do… So I think he’s going to be confirmed.”                                            

I think it’s going to be a real test to see whether they’re going to follow the Elizabeth Warren-Bernie Sanders wing of the party or whether they’re going to return to the tradition of giving the President an up or down vote on who is the Supreme Court nominee.”

“There is going to be some tension between their political instructions from their leadership and their enlightened self-interest, but I bet enlightened self-interest wins every time.”

Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, is a member of the Senate Finance, Intelligence, and Judiciary Committees.

 

 

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today announced his intention to introduce legislation next week to re-list North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, companion legislation to H.R. 479 sponsored by Rep. Ted Poe in the U.S. House of Representatives. Original Senate co-sponsors include Sens. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Marco Rubio (R-Fl.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.).

“Nearly a decade ago, the United States de-listed the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) as a state sponsor of terrorism in exchange for guarantees to give up its nuclear program,” Sen. Cruz said. “Much like the ill-fated 1994 ‘Agreed Framework’ that gave North Korea nuclear technology, the result of this deal was a disaster: Kim Jong-un oversaw two nuclear tests and over twenty ballistic missile tests last year alone, and has persisted in utilizing terror as an instrument of state policy. I welcome Secretary Tillerson’s distancing U.S. policy from the Obama administration’s “strategic patience” approach and look forward to working with the Trump administration to chart a more stable, secure future for Northeast Asia. Now is the time to bring added financial pressure to Pyongyang and hold them accountable for their actions. I’m honored to work with Judge Poe who is leading the effort in the House, and my Senate colleagues who have co-sponsored this important legislation.”

“North Korea is a terror state that has launched cyber-attacks on US companies, sold weapons to terrorist groups, and murdered hundreds of innocent people, both within North Korea and abroad, whom are viewed as a threat to the regime,” Rep. Poe said. “Time and again this dangerous regime has proven to be a real threat to both the United States and our allies. That is why we must take this threat seriously and designate Pyongyang as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. My bill, the North Korea State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act of 2017, requires the Administration to look at the evidence and make a determination on whether or not North Korea should be designated. I applaud Senator Cruz for leading the effort in the Senate and urge Congress and the President to act on this immediately.”

Sen. Cruz first called for re-listing North Korea in a letter to President Obama in February 2016 and last month wrote a letter along with Sens. Gardner, Tillis, Rubio, Toomey, and Daines to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, requesting him to investigate re-designating North Korea as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. Additionally, the senator has introduced legislation that calls for designating the Iran Revolutionary Guard and Muslim Brotherhood as Foreign Terrorist Organizations.

At the time North Korea was first delisted, it refused to return captured Japanese Red Army hijackers to Japan, never returned abducted Japanese and South Koreans kidnapped by North Korea in their home countries, and never accounted for kidnapping of now deceased Rev. Kim Dong-shik.

Most recently, the authoritarian regime enlisted the assassination of DPRK dictator Kim Jong-un’s own half-brother on foreign soil: Kim Jong-nam was assassinated in a Malaysian airport utilizing the internationally-banned nerve agent VX, the most toxic chemical weapon in existence.

Additionally, since being removed in 2008, North Korea:

• Conducted “cyber-terror targeting” of South Korean nuclear power plants in 2014 that was intended to cause reactor malfunctions.
• Was found by a United States district court in 2014 to have materially supported Hezbollah’s terrorist activities in 2006.
• Conducted a cyber-attack against Sony pictures in 2014, threatening “9/11-type attacks” against U.S. theaters that show the film.
• Jammed GPS signals in May 2012 affecting hundreds of civilian airliners flying in and out of South Korea.
• Utilized a DPRK agent to plot the assassination of a dissident activist based in South Korea. The agent was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment in 2012 by a South Korean court.
• Utilized two DPRK General Reconnaissance Bureau agents who were arrested and sentenced in 2010 for the attempted assassination of a high-level North Korean defector.

The full text of the legislation can be viewed here.

Letter to Secretary Tillerson requests comprehensive review of how taxpayer dollars are utilized abroad

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and five Senate colleagues wrote a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson requesting an investigation of U.S. funds associated with promoting democracy and governance outside of the U.S. Recent troubling reports indicate that U.S. entities, including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), have disbursed taxpayer funds to shape the judiciary, civil society, and political landscape of foreign countries to the benefit of left-leaning political groups at the expense of U.S. national interests. Of special concern are reports of funds going from USAID to organizations affiliated with George Soros-backed Open Society Foundations.

“It is deeply disturbing that USAID and other U.S. government agencies may be involved in disbursing taxpayer funds to extreme political groups working to force change in foreign countries in ways that are at odds with U.S. national interests and potentially harmful to U.S. relations with those nations and the stability of their governments,” Sen. Cruz said. “Specifically, Macedonia and Albania are two countries whose political development the U.S. is keen on supporting, and I am especially concerned about USAID funds going to organizations in those countries that are financed by left-wing radical George Soros. The U.S. should not be sending money to organizations that may be working under the guise of promoting legal or political reform, while actually undermining judicial independence, the rule of law, political representation by right-of-center groups, and good relations with the U.S. I hope that Secretary Tillerson will treat this matter with urgency and conduct a comprehensive review to ensure that American taxpayers are not funding a radical agenda overseas.”

The full letter may be viewed here.

 

 WASHINGTON – Ahead of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s scheduled visit to Beijing on Saturday, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) joined a bipartisan letter to China’s ambassador to the United States seeking the release of Sandy Phan-Gillis, a Texas resident who has been held without trial in China since March 19, 2015.  

“We write to you to express serious concerns about the continued detention of Sandy Phan-Gillis, an American citizen, in China,” the senators wrote. “On the eve of her two years in detention, we urge your government to immediately release Mrs. Phan-Gillis. The U.S.-China relationship is one of the most consequential relationships in the world. We appreciate the importance of constructive relations between the United States and China. However, we do not believe that Mrs. Phan-Gillis’ continued detention serves the shared interests of Washington and Beijing.”

Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, led the letter, which was also signed by Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

 Full text of the letter is included below, and a signed copy is available here.

The Honorable Cui Tiankai

Embassy of the People’s Republic of China

3505 International Place NW

Washington, D.C. 20008

 

Dear Ambassador Cui:

 

We write to you to express serious concerns about the continued detention of Sandy Phan-Gillis, an American citizen, in China. On the eve of her two years in detention, we urge your government to immediately release Mrs. Phan-Gillis.

The U.S.-China relationship is one of the most consequential relationships in the world. We appreciate the importance of constructive relations between the United States and China. However, we do not believe that Mrs. Phan-Gillis’ continued detention serves the shared interests of Washington and Beijing.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s upcoming visit to Beijing presents an invaluable opportunity for the United States and China to create an atmosphere for strengthening relations between the United States and China under the new U.S. administration, including possible plans for a summit meeting between President Trump and President Xi.

The release of Mrs. Phan-Gillis would go a long way towards creating such an atmosphere, and we urge your government to do so without delay.

Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, is a member of the Senate Finance, Intelligence, and Judiciary Committees.

 

 

‘Judge Gorsuch has won the respect of those across the political spectrum and on both sides of the aisle.’

‘It’s time to move forward with the President’s nominee to fill the seat left open by the death of the late Justice Scalia, and I believe that Judge Gorsuch is just the man to fill it’

WASHINGTON – Today on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) previewed next week’s hearing for Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s nominee to be Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.  Excerpts of Sen. Cornyn’s remarks are below, and video of his remarks can be found here.

“He has been praised by people across the political spectrum, from liberals to conservatives, as a highly-qualified and exceptional judge with impeccable integrity.”

“He’s served with great distinction on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals based out of Denver for the last ten years after having been confirmed by this Chamber unanimously. Clearly, Judge Gorsuch has won the respect of those across the political spectrum and on both sides of the aisle.”

“Judge Gorsuch will also bring decades of experience on the bench, as I mentioned a moment ago. He served in private practice, as well as an attorney with the Justice Department and, of course, as a federal judge.”

“It’s time to move forward with the President’s nominee to fill the seat left open by the death of the late Justice Scalia, and I believe that Judge Gorsuch is just the man to fill it. And I look forward to hearing from him next week as we consider his nomination to this important position.”

Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, is a member of the Senate Finance, Intelligence, and Judiciary Committees.

 

 

States will once again have the ability to determine how to best implement these programs for their citizens

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution sponsored by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) that disapproves and nullifies a drug testing rule issued by the U.S. Department of Labor during the final months of the Obama administration. That rule limited states’ congressionally intended discretion in implementing their unemployment compensation and unemployment insurance programs. The Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution was originally introduced and passed in the U.S. House of Representatives by U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. The resolution will now head to President Trump to be signed into law.

“I commend the Senate for taking up and passing this legislation that I was proud to introduce with my colleague in the House, Chairman Kevin Brady,  to reverse yet another instance of executive overreach by the Obama administration,” said Sen. Cruz. “I look forward to President Trump signing this legislation, and I thank Chairman Brady and my colleagues here in the Senate for their support of this measure and for returning discretion to the governments that are closest to the people.”

“The American people are sick and tired of Washington bureaucrats abusing their authority to undercut the will of Congress and the American people,” said Chairman Brady. “I thank Texas Senator Ted Cruz for his leadership in the Senate in passing this legislation. The President’s signature is all that remains to fully repeal this harmful Obama-era regulation and empower our states to help fully qualified workers get back to work.”

In the bipartisan Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Congress permitted, but did not require, states to assess state unemployment  compensation or insurance program applicants for drug usage under two circumstances: (1) workers who had been discharged from their last job because of unlawful drug use and (2) workers looking for jobs in occupations where applicants and employees are subject to drug testing. If passed, the resolution of disapproval will once again provide states the ability to determine how to best implement these programs for their citizens.

For the full text of the resolution, click here.

 ‘But I would just say to our friends on the Democratic side of the aisle, that Obamacare is in meltdown mode.’ 

‘We are the rescue team that’s come on the scene in order to try to salvage a mess that they created.’

WASHINGTON – Today in a press conference, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) addressed the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) recent score of the American Health Care Act which estimated the bill will lower premiums by 10% after ten years, reduce the deficit by $337 billion, and lower taxes by $883 billion over current law.  Excerpts of Sen. Cornyn’s remarks are below, and video of his remarks can be found here.

 “Well if you think about it, if the government’s not going to penalize you for not buying a policy that you don’t want, given the freedom to make a decision that is consistent with your own economic interests, and you may decide not to buy it, and that’s in large part what the CBO score reflects.”

“But I would just say to our friends on the Democratic side of the aisle, that Obamacare is in meltdown mode. We all know that. They know that as well. Premiums are skyrocketing, deductibles are unaffordable, insurance companies are fleeing the marketplace. We are the rescue team that’s come on the scene in order to try to salvage a mess that they created.”

Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, is a member of the Senate Finance, Intelligence, and Judiciary Committees.

If passed, Congressional Review Act resolution will once again provide states the ability to determine how to best implement these programs for their citizens 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Senate began debating a resolution sponsored by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) that would disapprove and nullify a drug testing rule issued by the U.S. Department of Labor on August 1, 2016. That rule limited states’ congressionally intended discretion in implementing their unemployment compensation and unemployment insurance programs. Sen. Cruz’s Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval would roll back this rule, yet another example of the blatant executive overreach that characterized the Obama administration and ran counter to Congressional intent. The resolution was originally introduced and passed in the U.S. House of Representatives by U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

“The wording the 2012 Job Creation Act provision clearly shows that Congress specifically intended to provide states the ability to determine how to best implement these programs for their citizens,” said Sen. Cruz. “However, President Obama’s Department of Labor substantially narrowed the law to circumstances where testing is legally required, not just merely allowed.  Such an arbitrarily narrow definition undermines the ability of states to conduct drug testing in their programs as permitted by Congress. This regulation is overly prescriptive, removes state discretion regarding implementation, and ignores years of Congressional concern.”

In the bipartisan Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Congress permitted, but did not require, states to assess state unemployment compensation or insurance program applicants for drug usage under two circumstances: (1) workers who had been discharged from their last job because of unlawful drug use and (2) workers looking for jobs in occupations where applicants and employees are subject to drug testing. If passed, the resolution of disapproval will once again provide states the ability to determine how to best implement these programs for their citizens.

A Senate vote on the resolution is expected Tuesday, and it needs 51 affirmative votes to pass. For the full text of the resolution, click here.

 

 

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) released the following statement in support of President Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman:

“I strongly support David Friedman to serve as the next U.S. Ambassador to Israel and commend President Trump for nominating Mr. Friedman to this position.

“Israel is one of America’s closest and strongest allies in the world. David Friedman is dedicated to restoring and strengthening our critically important alliance with Israel that provides enormous benefits for our two countries. He recognizes the U.S. must firmly stand with Israel against those that threaten the existence and security of both our countries, and combat efforts to delegitimize Israel, such as biased resolutions at the United Nations and the discriminatory Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction (BDS) movement. His leadership will bring exceptional moral clarity to such an important position during a pivotal time of immense and growing instability in the Middle East.

“I congratulate Mr. Friedman on being approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and urge my Senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support him during his vote on the Senate floor.”