AUSTIN (Nexstar) — “Congress needs to be acting” said Sen. Ted Cruz on the morning after the U.S. Senate failed to pass a new Coronavirus relief bill. The $500-billion plan pushed by Republicans fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance in the Senate.
All of the Democrats in the Senate voted to block the bill, as did Kentucky Republican Rand Paul.
“Unfortunately, I don’t think we’re going to see legislation move through Congress before election day,” said Sen. Cruz. He put the blame on Democratic leaders.
“[Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer] have concluded that maximizing economic pain is in their political self interest,” Cruz said.
Sen. Schumer (D-New York) had criticized the Republican plan as being “emaciated.” Democrats are proposing a $3-trillion relief bill, roughly six times the size of the Republican proposal. Democrats want the relief plan to include funds for state and local governments, as well as a second round of stimulus checks for many Americans.
“I don’t think checks are the right solution,” said Sen. Cruz. “What I think our focus should be is on recovery,” Cruz added. He supports plans to cut taxes and reduce regulations on businesses, including a “liability safe harbor” to keep businesses from facing lawsuits if workers or customers get sick from the Coronavirus.
Cruz also says he supports tax incentives for more Coronavirus testing. “We have to have people confident that they’re safe and their families are safe,” he said.
Sen. Cruz spoke to State of Texas host Josh Hinkle a few days after President Trump put the Texan’s name on a list of 20 people he would consider nominating to serve on the Supreme Court.
There is not a vacancy on the Court at this time. The list gives insight into the President’s idea of who would make a good Justice.
“It is an immense honor for the President to have that level of confidence in me,” Cruz said of the list. He said while it’s important to serve on the Court, he’s not interested in being nominated.
“I have spent much of my adult life fighting to defend the Constitution, fighting to defend the Bill of Rights,” Cruz said. “I intend to continue doing so right where I am now, in the U.S. Senate representing 29 million Texans.”