Tags Posts tagged with "U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz"

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz

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Chairs hearing examining partnerships between the U.S. government and commercial space industry and the reopening of the American Frontier

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness, participated in the third of a series of planned hearings to explore the reopening of the American frontier in space. Today’s hearing, titled “Reopening the American Frontier: Promoting Partnerships Between Commercial Space and the U.S. Government to Advance Exploration and Settlement,” examined partnerships between the U.S. government and commercial space industry to advance America’s leadership in space, and space exploration.

Five witnesses testified at the hearing, including Mr. Robert Cabana, Director, NASA Kennedy Space Center; Mr. Tim Ellis, Co-Founder and CEO, Relativity; Mr. Tim Hughes, Senior Vice President, Global Business and Government Affairs, SpaceX; Dr. Moriba K. Jah, Associate Professor, Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, Cockell School of Engineering, The  University of Texas at Austin; Mr. Jeffrey Manber, CEO, Nanoracks.

Watch Sen. Cruz’s opening statement here and read the full text of his opening remarks below:

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the trouble makers, the round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them. Glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them, because they change things. They push the human race forward and while some may see them as the crazy ones we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.

“That quote of course was made famous by Apple in the company’s 1997 television commercial ‘Think Different.’ Nearly three months ago this subcommittee began a series of hearings looking at the reopening of the American frontier. These hearings are in a way dedicated to the crazy ones, who not only think differently but who take risks and are looking to push the human race forward by expanding American commerce and settlement throughout the universe.

“Our national space program is on the verge of a renaissance. This renaissance is being driven by innovators who don’t accept the status quo and who are changing the very nature of space flight. This renaissance is also being driven by public private partnerships between NASA and commercial space companies. In the last few years we have witnessed the test flights and success of reusable rockets which will lower the cost for Americans to access space.

“We’ve seen the deployment of cube satellites from the International Space Station, which are not only helping maximize the utilization of the International Space Station but are expanding research opportunities for federal agencies, industry and even high schools. As our previous hearings have showcased, we also have seen an interest from American companies who are looking to expand a commercial presence to the surface of the moon and beyond. Space exploration is rapidly expanding and both commercial companies and NASA are complementing one another. A survey by the Department of Commerce found that U.S. companies had $62.9 billion in space related sales in 2012. While U.S. government programs provided much of this market, about one quarter of the sales were within the commercial sector. Public private partnerships have become the background of core NASA programs, such as the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services, the COTS program, and the commercial crew program which will finally end our dependence on Russia to transport American Astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

“However, we shouldn’t be content to rest on the laurels of recent success. There is still a lot of work left that needs to be completed to ensure continued U.S. competitiveness in space. Congress needs to work to ensure that investment and innovations with in the commercial space sector isn’t effectively chilled by obsolete regulations or overly burdensome requirements that may not naturally apply to new business models. We must also continue to challenge NASA and the commercial space community to find new ways to partner to advance our national space policy goals as Congress will never be able to fund every priority within the space community. And in preparation of the expansion of commercial space activity we will also need to examine orbital debris and how it impacts exploration and space traffic management.

“There are people who are crazy enough who think they can change the very nature of space exploration and if they keep on pressing forward they just might.”

 

 

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Issues statement following the passing of Dr. Liu Xiaobo

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today issued the following statement regarding the passing of Dr. Liu Xiaobo, a pro-democracy dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner unjustly imprisoned by the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Dr. Liu is most notably known for publishing “Chapter 08,” an anti-Communist manifesto calling for political freedom and human justice.

“Today the world lost a hero of liberty and freedom. Liu Xiaobo, a voice for the voiceless and defender of the oppressed in Communist China, passed away. Although the physical cause of his death was cancer, Dr. Liu’s primary battle was one of the soul. Ever since leaving the safety and comfort of America to lead the protests at Tiananmen Square in 1989, Dr. Liu sealed his fate as a persistent focus of persecution from the

authoritarian PRC. From ‘reeducation through labor’ and deprivation of property to unjust imprisonment and physical abuse, Dr. Liu bore the brunt of the Communist Party’s wrath for daring to challenge their immoral system of political oppression in his coauthoring of ‘Charter 08,’ a manifesto of Chinese freedom that reverberates today more than ever.

“As we grieve his loss, our immediate focus must be his widow Liu Xia. Because Xi Jinping refused their departure to America, their rightfully earned Nobel Prize money remains unclaimed, and Liu Xia is in danger. Although it is of no consolation regarding the death of her husband, I was pleased to hear today from Liu Xiaobo’s counsel that the Norwegian Nobel Institute has now confirmed it has found a legal way for Liu Xia to be able to inherit the $1.5 million monetary award for the Nobel Peace Prize that Liu Xiaobo was never able to collect. I intend to continue my longstanding effort to honor Liu Xiaobo and to secure Liu Xia’s livelihood, and I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, Republican and Democrat: if there is an issue that should unite us all, it is that the wife a Nobel Peace laureate speaking out for peace and democracy should not be kept hostage in Communist China.”

“Charter 08” can be read in its entirety here. Sen. Cruz has led the effort to rename the plaza in Dr. Liu’s honor since 2014 and most recently reintroduced legislation last May with Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.). Two weeks ago, Sen. Cruz demanded China release Dr. Liu before the end of the July 4th Senate recess. He has also delivered speeches on the Senate floor yesterdaySeptemberOctober, and November of 2015 to call attention to Dr. Liu’s plight and human rights abuses in communist China.

 

 

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Participates in roundtable discussions at Camp Hope and Combined ArmsHOUSTON, Texas – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today toured two veterans’ organizations in Houston: Camp Hope and Combined Arms. His visits are part of weeklong tour across Texas, where he is meeting with various veterans groups to hear their ideas and concerns.

Camp Hope is a facility that provides interim housing and recovery programs for wounded warriors, veterans and their families suffering from combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Following his tour, Sen. Cruz participated in a roundtable discussion with executives, employees and current residents.

“I was honored to visit with some of our nation’s finest heroes this morning,” Sen. Cruz said. “These men and women have served our nation with unparalleled dignity, honor and sacrifice. And when they return home, these brave men and women bear the marks of war, whether seen or unseen. I was humbled to hear the stories of valorous warriors who are taking their first steps towards defeating the unseen wounds of battle. Those who defended us so honorably must never be forgotten, and it is our solemn duty to ensure our veterans receive the best possible care. I am grateful for our friends at Camp Hope, and the services they are providing to offer healing and another chance at life for veterans and their families suffering with PTSD and other combat related injuries.”

Later in the day, Sen. Cruz toured Combined Arms, a nonprofit focused on developing a collaborative network of veteran organizations in order to best support and assist transitioning military veterans and their families in the Houston area. Following his tour, Sen. Cruz participated in a roundtable discussion with members of various veterans’ organizations within Combined Arm’s collaborative network.

Still photos of Sen. Cruz’s visit at Combined Arms may be viewed here.

“Combined Arms is committed to ensuring our nation’s brave servicemen and women are receiving the resources available to them and raising awareness of the needs within the military community,” Sen. Cruz said. “I was honored to visit with these dedicated men and women and learn more about their organizations, and the services they offer to our nation’s heroes.”

“We are excited to introduce Senator Cruz to our collaborative network of 34 veteran serving organizations (VSO) at the Combined Arms Transition Center and the innovative way we are improving the delivery of services to veterans via our Integrated Technology System,” executive director Kelly Land said. “We also look forward to hearing about policy changes and how they will affect veterans and their families in Greater Houston.”

Camp Hope opened in 2012, and has provided veterans and their immediate family members find healing, help and hope. Participants benefit from an intensive peer support and mentoring program for Post-Traumatic Stress. In addition to temporary housing, Camp Hope offers a 90+ day PTSD recovery program in which residents: attend group lessons and support sessions with other combat veterans; conduct individual mentoring sessions with certified combat trauma mentors; participate in off-site small group interaction activities and get involved with local churches, businesses and volunteer organizations to assist in their personal healing and educating the community on the invisible wounds of war.

Combined Arms is a forward-thinking nonprofit that is committed to unleashing the impact of veterans on Houston. Through streamlined assessments and customized resources based on individual veteran needs, Combined Arms is simplifying and accelerating the connection point between veterans and resources. Combined Arms deploys a data-driven approach and a collaborative, connected model of service delivery so that veterans and the community are united after the uniform.

Applauds Supreme Court ruling; Joined amicus brief defending religious freedom in the case

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today praised the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia vs. Comer.

“The Court’s decision today stops blatant religious discrimination by a state and is a landmark victory for religious freedom and free exercise in our country,” Sen. Cruz said. “Had this case been decided otherwise, it would have opened the door to numerous irrational attacks on religious institutions. Fortunately, that door stays closed and our nation’s first liberty remains safeguarded.”

In April 2016, Sen. Cruz was proud to join 33 other members of Congress on a Supreme Court amicus brief defending Trinity Lutheran and promoting religious liberty, which can be found here.

By a vote of 7-2, the Supreme Court held that the State of Missouri violated the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause by prohibiting Trinity Lutheran from obtaining a state grant for playground safety equipment. “[T]he exclusion of Trinity Lutheran from a public benefit for which it is otherwise qualified, solely because it is a church, is odious to our Constitution,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote in the majority opinion.

Sen. Cruz has long led the fight uphold religious liberty in our country and stand with those persecuted for their faith abroad in numerous efforts including:

 

 

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Introduces VA Information Technology Restructuring Act to ensure veterans receive quality health care; cosponsored by Sens. Cornyn, Rubio, Young

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today introduced the VA Information Technology Restructuring Act to modernize the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) IT infrastructure in a manner that will better equip it to ensure our veterans receive the utmost quality health care. The bill establishes that a Chief Information Officer (CIO) be appointed to the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to modernize outdated software, and provide necessary oversight regarding the procurement, acquisition and management of the VHA’s IT systems. Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Todd Young (R-Ind.) are original cosponsors of the bill.

“Modernizing the VA’s IT infrastructure is a critical step to improving the agency’s delivery of health care and remedying the long wait times that have compromised the health and safety of veterans who have honorably served our nation,” Sen. Cruz said. “The time for VA reform cannot wait any longer. We must deliver on the promise our nation has made to the men and women who have so bravely defended our nation, and provide the care that they deserve. I am proud to sponsor this common-sense legislation which I believe will be instrumental in solving VA mismanagement and drastically improving its ability to address the health needs of our nation’s heroes.” 

Currently, there is no experienced senior health care leader at the VHA with sole focus on IT infrastructure, which hampers the VHA from both meeting its own management needs, and the health needs of the service members it treats. A 2016 report from the Commission on Care (CoC) determined that it was critical for the VHA to have a CIO with expansive healthcare expertise, equipped to implement and manage a state-of-the-art IT system fully integrated with VHA clinics and medical centers. The establishment of a CIO, as provided in this legislation, will provide the foundation and continuity to ensure that veterans receive the care they have been promised, driven by proper oversight, management, and best practices.

“Texas veterans deserve a VA that works efficiently to deliver services and care,” Sen. Cornyn said. “Installing a CIO at the VA can go a long way towards finally modernizing and updating their IT systems to improve wait times, record security, and accessibility.”

“As we work to bring the VA into the 21st century and get our veterans the efficient, quality health care they deserve, it’s important for the department to have a chief information officer to oversee the modernization of the care and health records systems,” Sen. Rubio said. “I’ll continue to work with my colleagues to ensure our men and women in uniform have access to the state-of-the-art health care system they deserve.”

“The current system is not getting the job done, and in some cases preventing our Veterans from receiving the care they were promised and deserve,” Sen. Young said. “The missing medical equipment scandal at the Roudebush VA center in Indianapolis and the ongoing problems with implementation of the VA’s $543 million real-time locating systems demonstrate the desperate need for reform of information technology systems and procedures at the VA. By creating the position of Chief Information Officer, this bill promises to improve accountability at the VA and supports Secretary Shulkin’s reform efforts. I am glad to work with Sen. Cruz on this important effort.”

Sen. Cruz has long led efforts to remedy VA mismanagement and improve veterans’ access to quality health care:

  • In May 2017, he cosponsored the Veterans’ Health Care Integrity Act by Sens. Cornyn and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) to ensure the VA complies with its own veteran health care appointment scheduling policies in order to ensure access to timely care.
  • In March 2016, Sen. Cruz, joined by Sen. Cornyn and Gov. Greg Abbott, sent a letter to Secretary McDonald calling on him to address the improper scheduling practices and extended wait times for veterans seeking health care across the entire State of Texas.
  • In October 2015, Sen. Cruz, along with Sen. Cornyn, pressed then-VA Secretary Robert McDonald to address the long wait times for veterans seeking health care in San Antonio.

 

 

 

 

 

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Participates in annual Fourth of July Street Parade and Freedom Festival; meets with community leaders and volunteers

McALLEN, Texas – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today participated in McAllen’s annual Fourth of July Street Parade and Freedom Festival. Shortly thereafter, Sen. Cruz attended a brunch, where he met with local community leaders and volunteers.

“I was honored to join our friends in McAllen to celebrate Independence Day,” Sen. Cruz said. “This week, as we reflect on the birth of our nation, may we never forget those who bravely fought for our nation’s independence, and the men and women here at home and across the globe who continue to defend our freedoms each and every day.”

Sen. Cruz continued, “I always appreciate the opportunity to visit the Rio Grande Valley, and meet with the dedicated community members and leaders in the region. As I travel across the state this week, from McAllen to McKinney, San Antonio to Austin, I look forward to hearing the concerns and ideas of Texans, so we can create more good-paying jobs and expand opportunity across the Lone Star State.”

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Applauds EPA Administrator Pruitt’s decision

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) applauded EPA administrator Scott Pruitt’s Wednesday announcement that he would withdraw the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.

“The announcement to withdraw the Waters of the United States rule is a welcome change for hardworking families, farmers, and ranchers in Texas,” Sen. Cruz said. “The Obama administration’s WOTUS rule massively expanded the scope of federal authority over land and waterways in the United States, making it harder for Texans to provide for their families. This withdrawal proposal reflects what Americans overwhelmingly believe: that we can have both clean water and regulations that don’t stifle economic growth and job creation. I applaud Administrator Pruitt for his leadership on this issue, and look forward to working with my colleagues to further roll back harmful regulations.”

Sen. Cruz has long led efforts to rein in the federal overreach of the EPA, and fight for Texas families, farmers, and ranchers:

  • In May 2015, Sen. Cruz sponsored the Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act (ARENA), to check the President’s overreaching “Clean Power Plan” regulations that not only infringe on states, but also hamper electricity companies and drive costs up for consumers.
  • In November 2015, Sen. Cruz joined 48 of his Senate colleagues in voting to repeal the EPA’s WOTUS rule.

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Court respects rule of law by overruling lower courts, agreeing to hear case

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today praised the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision to reinstate parts of President Trump’s executive order on refugees and vetting in Trump v. Hawaii. In a per curiam opinion, the Court agreed to hear the dispute this fall, and it overruled lower court injunctions that baselessly claimed to apply to foreign persons with no connection to the United States.

“The fact that the decision was unanimous – joined by even the Justices appointed by President Obama – shows how utterly lawless the lower-court injunctions were,” Sen. Cruz said. “I wish the Court would have gone even further and reinstated the executive order in its entirety, but this is a good start. In addition to making the United States safer by ensuring that those entering our country are thoroughly vetted, President Trump’s executive order is plainly within his statutory and constitutional authority as our nation’s chief executive.”

Issued in late January, President Trump’s executive order implemented, among other things, a four-month pause in refugee admissions so that stronger vetting procedures could be put in place. At the time, Sen. Cruz praised President Trump “for rejecting Obama’s willful blindness, and for acting swiftly to try to prevent terrorists from infiltrating our refugee programs.”

 

 

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‘We must utilize any and all points of leverage with China to free

Dr. Liu so that he can receive the medical treatment he needs’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), in the wake of Chinese dissident Dr. Liu Xiaobo’s cancer diagnosis, today urged his colleagues to provide leverage for his release from Chinese prison by passing legislation to rename the plaza in front of the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C. as “Liu Xiaobo Plaza.” This bill, sponsored by Sen. Cruz, passed the Senate by voice vote last year.

“I am deeply saddened by the news of Dr. Liu Xiaobo’s cancer diagnosis and I hope that the United States will utilize any and all points of leverage with China to free Dr. Liu so that he can receive the medical treatment he needs. Sadly, forcing such a champion of freedom to fight this grim disease in shackles is what we have come to expect from the People’s Republic of China. But this is what authoritarian regimes do – seek to strangle the vibrancy of liberty and extinguish individual freedom.”

Cruz continued, “Dr. Liu sought to shine a light into the darkness of Communist China at great cost to his personal wellbeing and his family’s safety, especially that of his wife, Liu Xia. His fight should not be over. While we know that Communist China will do nothing from the goodness of its heart, thankfully we have an immediate point of leverage to effect his release if the Senate will swiftly take up and pass legislation to rename the street in front of the Chinese embassy ‘Liu Xiaobo Plaza.’ I hope that my colleagues will stand for freedom in China and pass it again. We are running out of time to save China’s greatest voice for freedom.”

Sen. Cruz has led the effort to rename the plaza in Dr. Liu’s honor since 2014, and most recently reintroduced legislation last month with Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.). He has also delivered speeches on the Senate floor in SeptemberOctober, and November of 2015 to call attention to Dr. Liu’s plight and human rights abuses in communist China.

 

 

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‘The right to bear arms is one of the most foundational and basic freedoms in our Constitution’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) announced his cosponsorship of the Protecting the Second Amendment Act, which was introduced by Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.). The bill would amend the Gun Control Act to nullify generalized, routine, or ongoing reporting requirements on lawful gun owners based on geographic location or sales records of multiple long guns, and prohibit future executive action against them.

Under an Obama-era executive order claiming to target the flow of firearms to Mexican drug cartels, gun owners and dealers in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas were unduly targeted and subjected to additional reporting requirements on firearms above .22 caliber.

“The right to bear arms is one of the most foundational and basic freedoms in our Constitution,” Sen. Cruz said. “I am therefore proud to cosponsor this bill which will roll back regulations that specifically and unfairly targeted Texas. I am grateful for the opportunity to reverse the previous administration’s misguided policies and champion Texans’ and Americans’ freedom to protect themselves and their families.”

Sen. Cruz has long been a champion for the Second Amendment and upholding Americans’ right to protect themselves and their families:

  • Led the effort to prevent federal legislation to restrict the Second Amendment rights of Americans.
  • Authored legislation to strengthen the Second Amendment rights of Americans by allowing interstate firearms sales.
  • Led 31 states in District of Columbia v. Heller where the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a ban on firearms in a 5-4 landmark decision, and was later honored by the National Rifle Association with a 2008 resolution for his leadership in the case.
  • Awarded the NRA’s 2010 Carter-Knight Freedom Fund award, which “rewards exemplary activities in the support and protection of the right to Keep and Bear Arms” for his work in the Heller and McDonald cases.