Houston Matters

Ted Cruz’s Platform Includes Deregulation, Border Surveillance And Replacing Obamacare

The Republican Senator also talks about Harvey relief and immigration

Senator Ted Cruz is running for re-election on a platform that includes advocating for energy deregulation, increased surveillance on the Southern border and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare.

Cruz, a Republican from Texas who is running against Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke, was interviewed Thursday on Houston Matters, as part of its series of interviews with candidates running in major political races.

Cruz said the four priorities he has focused on as a Senator have been tax cuts, regulatory reform, repealing and replacing the ACA, and nominating and confirming “strong constitutionalist judges.”

The Senator highlighted the tax cuts Congress passed last year and the deregulation measures the Trump Administration has taken on that, according to Cruz, are benefiting farmers and ranchers, as well as the energy industry. “Today, Texas is producing 33 percent more oil than we did in 2016,” the Senator underscored, while adding that cooperating with the energy sector and environmental protection is compatible.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.

Harvey relief

Cruz took pride in having supported several bills to help Texans who were impacted by Hurricane Harvey a year ago and noted that he worked on passing three major pieces of legislation for disaster relief. One of them provided $89 billion and included funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers so that, among other things, it studies the construction of a third reservoir in Houston.

The Senator also talked about legislation, which he co-authored, to allow Harvey victims to deduct the cost of home damage repairs from their taxes and criticized O’Rourke for not having supported it.

On immigration, he expressed support for President Trump’s plan to build a wall and added the U.S. Border Patrol should be tripled. “We need to do everything humanly possible to secure the border,” noted the Senator, who specified that would mean using technology –including aerial surveillance— because “it is unacceptable that we don’t know who’s coming into this country.”

No path to citizenship

Asked about supporting a path to citizenship for DACA recipients, Cruz said he doesn’t think “it is right to be granting a path to citizenship to those who are here illegally.”

The potential repeal and replacement of the ACA was also a topic the Senator addressed. “I think the central focus in repealing Obamacare should be on lowering premiums,” he said. For Cruz, that could be achieved by increasing competition among insurance companies and providing more freedom and choices to consumers.

The Senator said he is in favor of covering pre-existing conditions with taxes. “I think we should do it honestly, we should do it directly with tax payer funds, rather than jacking up everyone else’s health insurance premiums,” he commented.

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