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May 22, 2015

Greetings,

As we approach Memorial Day, let us never forget the sacrifice of those who shed their blood so that we might remain free. This Monday, scattered petals throughout the land remind us of liberty born anew because of their sacrifice.

I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on this incredible gift of freedom, and to remember all those we’ve lost in battles to preserve it.

Keep Texas strong,

TC Sig
Ted Cruz

 

Sen. Cruz Receives Bipartisan Support for NDAA Amendments

Last week, Sen. Cruz applauded the passage of the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC). He introduced or cosponsored more than a dozen amendments that were successfully adopted by the committee. 

“Congress' first priority is to provide for the national defense and ensure our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines have everything they need to defend our freedom,” said Sen. Cruz. “I am grateful for the committee's support for my amendments, including measures that will ensure the readiness of our troops, support for our allies, and continued vigilance against our adversaries. This bipartisan legislation reflects the dedication this committee has to our men and women in uniform. I am honored to have worked with my colleagues to achieve the important reforms in this legislation and look forward to its consideration on the Senate floor. There are certainly provisions that I believe can be improved further to guarantee we have the best trained and equipped military in the world.”

The amendments Sen. Cruz sponsored include the following. View the full list here.

  • Renewable Energy Obstructions near Military Installations helps each branch of the military obtain more direct input into the decisions of the Department of Defense (DoD) Siting Clearinghouse during its assessment of renewable energy projects near military facilities. 
  • National Guard Full Time Operational Status modifications will improve the efficiency of the National Guard by requiring the National Guard Bureau to account for states that over-recruit to meet the National Guard's overall end strength. The National Guard routinely asks Texas to recruit beyond designated levels; and Texans unequivocally answer that call. 
  • Iranian Cyber Capabilities Reporting expands the existing Annual Report on the Military Power of Iran to include an assessment on Iran's rapidly developing offensive and defensive cyber warfare capabilities.
  • Space-Based Missile Defense requests an assessment from the Missile Defense Agency on the research and development of a space-based missile defense capability and its potential role in the layered ballistic missile defense system the U.S. currently possesses. A space-based component is critical to pursue given the increasing global threat environment. This capability would provide additional engagement time and intercept opportunities for the U.S. and better protect the American people, our allies, and our forward-deployed forces.

Sen. Cruz Delivers Statement on Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act

Sen. Ted Cruz Gives Remarks at Commerce Hearing
Click to view video

On Wednesday, Sen. Cruz delivered the following statement at an executive session of the Senate Commerce Committee. The Cruz-Nelson-Peters Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act was reported out of committee for consideration by the full U.S. Senate.

“Today we build upon the Commercial Space Launch Act that was first signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 and last amended in 2004,” said Sen. Cruz. “Since becoming the Chairman of the Space, Science, and Competitiveness subcommittee I have made it a priority to carry forth President Reagan’s vision of producing a stronger and more efficient launch capability for the United States that will contribute to continued American leadership in space.

“Thanks to the leadership and bipartisan support of Ranking Member Nelson, Ranking Member Peters, Senator Rubio and Senator Gardner we have produced a bill for this committee’s consideration and that was just adopted by this committee that all of us can be proud of, and that has received support from 20 organizations in the space industry. Our legislation reflects the needs of a changing and growing industry and aims to encourage the competitiveness of the U.S. commercial space industry while recognizing the vital role the private sector plays along with NASA. I commend the committee and I commend the Chairman for this bipartisan legislation moving forward.”

The bill extends the International Space Station (ISS) until 2024 and ensures stability for the continued development and growth of the U.S. commercial space sector. View more details here.

 

Sen. Cruz Sends Letter to Defense Secretary Requesting Information about Iran 

On Friday, Sen. Cruz, joined by Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and David Perdue (R-Ga.), sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter expressing strong concern over the ongoing publication delay of the Defense Department’s Annual Report on the Military Power of Iran. 

“In the context of the ongoing P5+1 negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran over that nation’s nuclear program and its potential military dimensions, we believe it is imperative that this report be published as quickly as possible,” the senators wrote. “We are concerned that the negotiations fail to recognize the inherent dangers of a nuclear Iran, particularly given the regime’s repeated genocidal threats against America and our close ally Israel.” 

Read the full letter here. 

 

A Regional Update from South Central Texas Regional Director Michael Koerner

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This week, I had the opportunity to travel throughout the region. In San Antonio, I had the distinct honor of presenting a letter from Sen. Cruz to a Central Catholic High School student congratulating him on his recent appointment to the U. S. Military Academy at West Point. While in the city, I was also pleased to serve as a judge for the San Antonio Tea Party's first annual Constitutional Scholarship.

Then, I headed to Corpus Christi to continue our monthly mobile outreach efforts and met with local officials and leaders in the community. 

And the final stop was El Paso, where I attended the Borderplex Trade Alliance and City of El Paso's sister city signing ceremony—this is an opportunity for the city of El Paso to partner with the city of Hadera, Israel in an effort to promote global investment and cultural exchange programs.

 

Central Texas Office
300 E. 8th St,
Suite #961
Austin, TX 78701
Phone: (512) 916-5834

North Texas Office
Lee Park Tower II,
3626 N. Hall St., Suite #410
Dallas, TX 75219
Phone: (214) 599-8749

Southeast Texas Office
808 Travis St.,
Suite #1420
Houston, TX 77002
Phone: (713) 718-3057

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South/Central Texas Office
9901 IH-10W,
Suite # 950
San Antonio, TX 78230
Phone: (210) 340-2885

East Texas Office
305 S. Broadway,
Suite 501
Tyler, TX 75702
Phone: (903) 593-5130

South Texas Office
200 S. 10th St,
Suite 1603
McAllen, TX 78501
Phone: (956) 686-7339

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Washington Office
404 Russell Senate Office
Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-5922

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LIGHTER SIDE

 

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

ALERT ALERT

OMG!! -> Government Now Wants To Seize Your Car For Going 5MPH Over The Limit

We’ve discussed this on and off for several years now. Civil asset forfeiture is a legal process that allows the government to seize assets and cash from citizens without any due process or judicial oversight.

You don’t even have to be charged with a crime. You are assumed guilty unless you can somehow prove your innocence.

Of course, not everyone has this ability… if you aren’t local, state, or federal law enforcement, this is called stealing, and you go to prison.

But the government is actually a bigger problem than common thieves.

A 2015 report showed that law enforcement used civil asset forfeiture to steal more from US residents than every thief, robber, and burglar in America combined.

About $4.5 BILLION worth of cash, cars, homes, and other property is taken by civil asset forfeiture each year – hundreds of millions more than common criminals steal.

And it happens at every level. Your local cop can use civil asset forfeiture just like your state trooper. And then any one of the armed agents of the US government—from the FBI to the Fish and Wildlife Service—can rob you for whatever reason they want.

This travesty continues to grow because the cops who take your stuff get to keep it. Police departments and government agencies around the country depend on civil asset forfeiture to boost their budgets.

Cops will literally keep some of the cars they take as squad cars. And they make a fortune auctioning off the houses, boats, and anything else they confiscate.

Obviously this gives cops an incentive to steal, whether or not they actually think the property was used in a crime, or acquired illegally. Remember, civil asset forfeiture adds billions every year to their bottom line.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case of civil asset forfeiture.

Tyson Timbs was convicted of selling a small amount of drugs to an undercover police officer. He was sentenced to house arrest, and paid about $1,200 in fines.

But then police used civil asset forfeiture to take his $42,000 Land Rover which Timbs purchased with money from a life insurance policy after his father died. The money did not come from selling drugs, or any other illegal activity.

Timbs sued, and the case made its way to the Supreme Court, because every lower court in Indiana said the forfeiture was perfectly legit.

The case revolves around whether or not the seizure of the Land Rover was an excessive fine under the 8th amendment, and whether or not this protection against excessive fines applies to state governments.

And the public got some crazy insight into the government’s position.

The Indiana Solicitor General was arguing in favor of civil asset forfeiture when Justice Stephen Breyer asked him a hypothetical.

Breyer asked, if a state needs revenue, could it force someone to forfeit their Bugatti, Mercedes, or Ferrari for speeding? Even if they were going just 5 miles per hour over the speed limit?

And the utterly appalling answer from the Indiana Solicitor General was, yes.

That’s right… the official government position is that they can steal any amount of your property in “connection” with any crime whatsoever, no matter how trivial the crime may be… even exceeding the speed limit by 5 miles per hour.

This is how overbearing and authoritarian the government has become in the land of the free.

This is how much power your local cop has… and the power only grows as you go to state, and federal officials.

If there is any solace in any of this, it is that the other Supreme Court Justices were reportedly laughing at this exchange.

The justices seemed incredulous that Indiana’s top lawyer was using such absurd assertions and flimsy reasoning in his arguments.

So, for now, we can keep our cars if we get pulled over for speeding. But that may not always be the case…

Depending on how this is ruled, it could pave the way for even more egregious abuses of power… or it could curb the practice, and reign in these thieves in uniforms.

Just understand where the government is coming from. These politicians, bureaucrats and officers think they can do whatever they want. Absolutely anything goes, with no limitation whatsoever.

And that makes it a little tough to feel like you really live in the land of the free.

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