Ted Cruz

Democrats See a Chance at Beating Ted Cruz

“Voters in Texas on Tuesday are setting up a showdown that Democrats hope will lead to their first victory in a statewide election there since 1994, with Rep. Beto O’Rourke vying to compete for the Senate seat of Republican Ted Cruz,” the Washington Post reports.

“It’s a daunting task for O’Rourke, 45, a three-term congressman. But there are signs he could at least keep November’s election close, including an impressive early-vote turnout among Democrats for Tuesday’s primaries, robust fundraising reports and polls showing declines in popularity for Cruz and President Trump. Neither O’Rourke nor Cruz is facing serious competition in Tuesday’s primaries.”

Cruz No Longer ‘Likes’ Pornographic Post

A spokeswoman for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) announced that a “like” on a pornographic post on the Texas lawmaker’s Twitter account has been undone and reported to the social media site, Politico reports.

The Verge: “t’s unclear if Cruz liked the video himself, or if it was the late-night work of an aid that manages his social media presence. Nevertheless, Ted Cruz quickly became a trending topic and the butt of a raging internet joke machine. The last time Cruz reached this level of popularity on Twitter was when the internet wondered aloud if Cruz was the unidentified Zodiac Killer.”

Insurers Say Cruz Proposal Is ‘Unworkable’

David Nather: “Two major health insurance trade groups launched an unusually direct attack on Sen. Ted Cruz’s insurance deregulation proposal tonight, warning Senate Republicans that it would damage the protections for people with pre-existing conditions — the one thing they promised not to do in repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.”

From the letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: “It is simply unworkable in any form and would undermine protections for those with pre-existing medical conditions, increase premiums and lead to widespread terminations of coverage for people currently enrolled in the individual market.”

Grassley Says Cruz Amendment May Be ‘Subterfuge’

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) told Iowa Public Radio that he probably won’t support an amendment by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to the Senate’s Obamacare repeal bill.

“Cruz proposes allowing insurance companies to sell two types of healthcare policies, one that is compliant with the Affordable Care Act and one that is not. Grassley says he’s concerned how Cruz’s amendment might affect people with pre-existing conditions.”

Said Grassley: “There’s a real feeling that that’s subterfuge to get around pre-existing conditions. If it is subterfuge and it has the effect of annihilating the pre-existing condition requirement that we have in the existing bill, than obviously I would object to that.”

Cruz Backs ‘Clean Repeal’ of Obamacare

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said “that he agrees with President Trump: If Republican senators are unable to pass a bill to repeal and replace key parts of the Affordable Care Act, the Senate should vote on a narrower bill to simply repeal the law and work on a replacement later,” the Washington Post reports.

Said Cruz: “If we cannot bring the conference together and agree on repeal legislation, then I think President Trump’s absolutely right that we should pass a clean repeal.”

Cruz said such a repeal should be delayed “either a year or two years” to give lawmakers time to work on a replacement.

Senate Republicans Ask for Two CBO Scores

Caitlin Owens: “Senate Republicans have asked the Congressional Budget Office to analyze Sen. Ted Cruz’s proposal for further health insurance deregulation, and they’ve asked for one estimate of a health care bill that includes his changes and one that doesn’t.”

“That would give Republicans a better idea of the impact of his proposal, which would let insurers sell health plans that don’t meet Affordable Care Act standards — including, potentially, waiving the pre-existing condition rules — as long as they also sell plans that comply with all of the ACA insurance regulations.”

Cruz and Lee Now Play an Inside Game

“Four years ago, Mike Lee and Ted Cruz launched an all-out media blitz to stop Obamacare implementation that culminated in a 16-day government shutdown. Now the conservative senators are still pressuring GOP leaders to go further than their colleagues in gutting the law, but they’re making their push through quiet backroom conversations instead,” Politico reports.

“It’s a shift for the Senate GOP’s two leading agitators, who are trying to build consensus in their own unique, hard-line way. And where they end up will ultimately determine whether Republicans are able to pass a bill.”

“If Lee and Cruz are able to help craft a compromise that can win 50 Republican votes, their support will go far in easing concerns from other conservatives who still deride the bill as Obamacare-lite. Yet the firm positions of Cruz (R-Texas) and Lee (R-Utah) are still imperiling the Senate Republicans’ repeal effort by pushing the party more to the right than many more centrist lawmakers would like to go.”

From Lucifer to Dealmaker

Bloomberg: “Ted Cruz is trying a radically new role: dealmaker.”

“The first-term senator from Texas is seeking to unite warring wings of the Republican Party around an effort to kill Obamacare and is showing a new willingness to compromise with colleagues to devise a replacement plan.”

“It’s a significant departure for the formerly obstructionist Cruz, who lost the Republican presidential contest to Donald Trump and has long had icy relations with other lawmakers. Cruz once called Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a liar on the Senate floor, and former Republican House Speaker John Boehner once called Cruz ‘Lucifer in the flesh’ and the most ‘miserable son of a bitch’ he had ever worked with. His most notable legislative accomplishment so far has been to help force a shutdown of the government for 16 days in 2013 in an unsuccessful effort to strip funding from Obamacare.”

Cruz Failed to Disclose Loans from Goldman Sachs

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) “improperly accounted for loans he received from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. during his 2012 campaign, saying the funds were his own personal contributions to the Senate race,” Bloomberg reports.

“The finding, released on the FEC website, marked a rare instance of agreement among the agency’s five commissioners, who voted unanimously that the $1.1 million of loans from the banks should have been disclosed to voters.”

Cruz Says Franken is ‘Obnoxious’ for Insulting Him

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) called Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) “obnoxious and insulting” for devoting an entire chapter to the Texas GOP senator in Franken’s new book titled Giant of the Senate, according to Politico.

Said Cruz: “Al is trying to sell books and apparently he’s decided that being obnoxious and insulting me is good for causing liberals to buy his books. I wish him all the best.”

Cruz Says El Chapo Should Pay for the Wall

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) “wants to use assets seized from drug lords such as El Chapo, the Mexican kingpin who was recently extradited to the U.S., to pay for border security and the border wall,” Axios reports.

“U.S. prosecutors are seeking $14 billion in drug profits and other assets from El Chapo. They also routinely seize the assets of other drug dealers and traffickers.”

The Dallas Morning News reports the name of the measure is “Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order Act,” or ELCHAPO.