U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today issued the following statement after voting against Democrats’ budget package:
“This budget process reaffirms what the American people know to be true—Congress is broken.
“While hard working men and women continue to struggle with the consequences of the pandemic, arbitrary economic shutdowns, and school closings, Republicans remain committed to working to ensure America defeats the pandemic, to provide economic relief to those Americans who are suffering and most in need, and to ensure businesses can safely reopen and kids can safely return to the classroom.
“The Democrats’ budget, however, shows that my colleagues across the aisle are not interested in responsible, targeted, bipartisan COVID relief. Rather, Democrats have chosen to abuse the budget process to spend almost $2 trillion enacting a liberal special interest wish list, much of which has nothing to do with COVID relief. At a time when millions of Americans are unemployed, Democrats have made their priorities clear, including spending hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out state and local governments and rewarding government officials who have irresponsibly continued to keep their economies shutdown.
“Every job is an essential job, and we should be focused on creating opportunity and prosperity for people who want to work. President Biden and Congressional Democrats have instead championed job-killing policies such as shutting down the Keystone Pipeline and attempting to increase the federal minimum wage, all-the-while ignoring the reality that their policies will make it far more likely that many businesses can never reopen and many employees can never return to their jobs.
“In less than one year, Congress has spent more than $100 billion dollars to ensure schools can safely reopen. Many states have prioritized vaccinating teachers to protect teachers from COVID risk. The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention has concluded schools can safely reopen and kids can safely return to school. Despite all of this, America’s school children are being held hostage by the Democrats and the teachers union bosses who refuse to reopen schools and who continue to exploit this crisis at the expense of American students and families.
“During this broken process, I offered several amendments that I believe are critical to helping Americans who are struggling the most and combating Democrats’ far-left agenda. These amendments include a measure to prevent increasing employment-based visas until the unemployment rate returns to its pre-pandemic levels and an amendment to protect tens of thousands of jobs by establishing a biofuel credit cap during this pandemic to prevent further refinery closures.
“As our national debt rapidly approaches $28 trillion, Congress should ensure the trillions in assistance that we’ve already approved is targeted to help those in need. Democrats have made it clear they’re irresponsibly planning on sticking future generations with the tab for reckless spending, instead of choosing to target aid to those who need it the most.
“My priority will remain working with my colleagues to expand opportunity for all Americans, empowering small businesses to reopen their doors and bring their employees back to work, and helping students return to the classroom.”
Sen. Cruz proposed several amendments aimed at helping American workers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and pushing back against Democrats’ radical agenda. Details regarding these amendments are included below.
- At a time when millions of Americans are struggling to find work, Democrats are poised to enact a massive amnesty bill that also dramatically increases employment-based visas and green cards. These policies would clearly favor foreign workers over American workers, including the more than 20 million Americans who lost their employment as a result of the pandemic. Sen. Cruz believes Congress should first provide for American workers. He proposed an amendment would prevent increasing levels of visas for foreign workers until the unemployment rate in the United States returns to pre-pandemic levels.
- High biofuel credit prices have created perilous conditions for refiners who are already weakened by the pandemic. 10 refineries have closed in the last year resulting in tens of thousands of job losses. Sen. Cruz introduced an amendment to establish a conventional biofuel credit cap during the coronavirus pandemic to protect tens of thousands of more jobs and to prevent the U.S. from importing more refined product from China when demand returns as the economy reopens.
- All across our nation, families are hurting. The shift to remote schooling has disproportionately impacted minority and underprivileged students, while President Biden’s executive actions have cost thousands of hard-working Americans their jobs. Sen. Cruz proposed an amendment that would boost funding for Education Freedom Scholarships and vocational and technical jobs retraining grants to help students and workers have a brighter future. The costs of these programs would be covered by ensuring that the federal government recoups the $30 billion in fraudulent unemployment benefits irresponsibly paid out by the State of California.
- Prominent Democrats have long called for packing the Supreme Court with liberal activists. Sen. Cruz proposed an amendment that would stop Democrats from unilaterally passing any court-packing legislation in the United States Senate.
- Democrats have made it clear they want to eliminate America’s petroleum industry. The reality is that the Democrats’ “war on energy” is really a “war on medical safety.” Many products critical in the fight against COVID can only be made with materials derived from petroleum and petrochemicals. These products include things like face shields and isopropyl alcohol and Democrats policies will make it harder for the United States to produce these critical goods that are essential to protecting frontline healthcare workers and persons working to administer the COVID vaccine. Sen. Cruz introduced an amendment to protect the production of petroleum to ensure an adequate supply of PPE.
- The coronavirus pandemic has ravaged nursing homes across the country and thousands of families tragically have lost loved ones at these facilities. Meanwhile, the Pentagon approved a plan to prioritize vaccinating detainees at Guantanamo Bay, prioritizing hardened terrorists over Americans at risk and in desperate need of a vaccination. Sen. Cruz introduced an amendment that would call for a Department of Justice investigation to determine if government officials, like Andrew Cuomo in New York or Rachel Levine in Pennsylvania, are criminally or civilly liable for ordering COVID-19 patients to be placed in nursing homes, paid for by redirecting $1.46 million in available funding from vaccines and other health programs for GITMO detainees.
- While campaigning for president, Joe Biden promised that, “Nobody making under 400,000 bucks would have their taxes raised, period, bingo.” Sen. Cruz proposed an amendment that would implement the Biden Tax Pledge by preventing legislation to raise taxes on individuals making under $400,000 a year.