Ted Cruz is a candidate in the Texas GOP primary seeking retiring Kay Bailey Hutchison’s US Senate seat. 40 year old Cruz served Texas as its Solicitor General from 2003 to 2008.
On Tuesday, November 1, 2011, I was afforded the opportunity to talk with US senate candidate, Ted Cruz, regarding the following three Tenth Amendment areas of interest:
TAC-T: Interstate compacts shield state regulatory autonomy from federal interference (e.g., ObamaCare, EPA environmental meddling, etc.) What is your position on interstate compacts?
Cruz comments: “I strongly support a shift in power from the federal government to state government.” (Cruz qualifies that Article One, Section 10, of the United States Constitution is the vehicle required to implement interstate compacts (“No state shall, without the Consent of Congress…enter into any Agreement or Compact with another state.”)) Regarding ObamaCare, Cruz cites a 2010 Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) report he co-authored which states, in part:
“We (TPPF) propose an interstate compact to create an alternative state-based regulation of health care. The compact would provide that member States are free to choose their preferred model for health care policy; that they may opt out of ObamaCare entirely; that they may choose to receive federal Medicaid funds as block grants without strings attached; and would otherwise accommodate maximum state flexibility.”
Cruz suggests states treat health care as any other form of commerce. As far as interstate compacts requiring approval by Congress is concerned, Cruz points out that Congressional approval would, in effect, give interstate compacts “force of law.” “States would then be able to negate federal law.” A congressionally approved interstate compact would result in placing “self styled moderate Democrats” literally between a rock and a hard place, i.e., the needs, wants and desires of the legislators’ home state and its constituents vice overbearing federal pressure upon the states to comply with something they neither want nor need.
TAC-T: There is a tremendous amount of concern and anxiety among Texas citizens concerning illegal immigration, border transgressions and violence to include the cost to legal citizens to maintain illegal immigrants.
Article One, Section Eight, of the United States Constitution tasks the federal government to defend its borders. In reality, the Texas Department of Public Safety is expending tremendous effort (at tremendous cost) to do the job the federal government is formally tasked to do.
What is your position on border security and immigration?
Cruz comments: “The federal government is failing to secure the US border. Fences, walls, technology, aerial vehicles, boots on the ground, etc., are all required to secure our borders. If elected, I will introduce a bill to triple the size of the US Border Patrol.” Further, “I will personally lead the fight on the floor of the US Senate regarding border security.”
In the November 2011 edition of the National Review, Cruz reminds opponents of illegal immigration to “focus on border security, rather than hope that the Supreme Court will reinterpret the Fourteenth Amendment to deny birthright citizenship to children of illegal immigrants. “I don’t think their argument is consistent with the Constitution, and so even if that outcome might be desirable as a policy outcome, I think we have an obligation to be faithful to the Constitution.”
TAC-T: In your opinion, should the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have sole jurisdiction over Texas environmental management issues, should it be shared with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) or should the TCEQ maintain sole responsibility for managing Texas environmental matters?
Cruz comments: “The US Constitution is clear—(the several) states have principal authority regarding intrastate matters (of which environmental management is one).” From his “Jobs and Growth Agenda,” Cruz states we must “restrain abusive environmental enforcement. To protect a lizard, the Obama administration (via the EPA), is trying to stop oil and gas exploration in West Texas. Even more ominously, if the Obama administration succeeds in banning hydraulic fracturing—which has opened vast new reserves of oil and gas here in Texas—tens of thousands of jobs will be lost and America will be left even more dependent on foreign dictators for our energy needs.”
“I have a proven record of fighting for states’ rights, Cruz concludes. “We defended the Ten Commandments monument that stands on the state capitol grounds. We went to the US Supreme Court, and we won 5-4. We defended the Pledge of Allegiance when a federal court of appeals struck down the pledge…because it included the words “one nation under God.” We went to the US Supreme Court, and we won unanimously.” We challenged a sitting president (George W. Bush) and his administration (Medillin v. Texas) when they tried to force Texas to obey a ruling of the International Court of Justice. “We defended US sovereignty…and we won 6-3.”
Steve Baysinger is the State Chapter Coordinator for the Texas Tenth Amendment Center.
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