Senator Ted Cruz spoke at the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority Conference in Washington, DC. recently and despite being labeled “lyin’ Ted” by Donald Trump during the primaries, laid out 7 specific victories President Trump has accomplished for Christian Conservatives since being elected.
He took 25 minutes to outline these accomplishments, here’s the condensed version:
1. The appointment of “principled, constitutionalist judges”
Cruz pointed out that the number one voting issue for many Christian conservatives during the 2016 election was the topic of the Supreme Court nominees that would come with the Presidency.
Donald Trump followed through with his promise to nominate a constitutionalist judge when Neil Gorsuch replaced the late Antonin Scalia on the bench.
Cruz pointed out that not only did Trump nominate a great judge to the Supreme Court, but he has been bus nominating principaled federal judges as well.
Gorsuch played a role in the controversial Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling, which Cruz praised, citing Jack Philips six-year-long legal battle for not baking a cake for a same-sex wedding.
“If we lived in the sort of society that those who called themselves liberal prescribe, a tolerant society, that would have been the end of the story,” he said of Phillips’ case. “He would have lived according to his faith and we would have respected that faith and the diversity amongst us. But there are those with a legal agenda that wanted to drive that baker out of business, to punish him and any other person of faith for daring to live according to their faith.”
Interestingly, Cruz issued an amicus brief himself to the Supreme Court in support of Phillips.
2. The lives of the unborn
Cruz also made sure to note the significant victories the Trump administration had made in protecting the lives of the unborn.
“We have seen in the last year-and-a-half significant victories for preserving innocent life,” he said.
He noted Trump’s reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy, which discontinued foreign aid to organizations that perform abortions around the world.
Trump also pulled the United States out of the United Nations Population Fund, which Cruz stated was “complicit in China’s horrific practices of forced sterilizations and forced abortions.”
“We saw [the Department of Health and Human Services] issue new rules, returning to the old rules prohibiting taxpayer funding from going to Planned Parenthood and clinics that provide abortions.
“Not only that, but we saw the administration rescind the abhorrent so-called contraceptive mandate in Obamacare — a mandate that was interpreted by the Obama administration to force or to try to force believers to fund abortion-inducing drugs. The consequences of that decision is in the litigation against the Little Sisters of the Poor.”
3. Tax cut
Cruz also pointed out the Republican-led overhaul of the tax code last December. He, along with many conservatives, believe that the tax overhaul will land more money back in the pockets of families.
“Cutting taxes on small businesses, cutting taxes on farmers, cutting taxes on ranchers, cutting taxes on families, doubling the standard deduction, What does that mean?” Cruz asked. “For a couple, standard deduction goes from $12,000 to $24,000. That means next year, 90 percent of Americans will be able to fill out your taxes on a postcard.”
He also added that under the new tax bill, marginal tax rates were reduced in every single bracket, providing a break for every family.
“We saw over 4 million Americans get pay raises, get bonuses because of the tax cut of $500, $1,000, more than $1,000. I was flying a few months ago on Southwest Airlines and a flight attendant walked up to me, hugged me and said ‘Thanks for the pay raise.'”
Cruz also added the importance of the doubling of the child tax credit. The increase from $1,000 to $2,000 per child per year would benefit all families, he said.
“If you have three kids, that is an additional $3,000 in your pocket,” he said. “That’s the money for your daughter to get braces. That is the money for you to take your kids on maybe the first family vacation you’ve been on in several years to go to Disney World or to take your kids to a summer camp or maybe to invest in a college fund or help tuition or help pay healthcare. This is real money for people who are struggling and this is a group that cares about families.”
4. Repealing of the Obamacare individual mandate
Cruz stated that a big accomplishment of the Trump administration for families was repealing the Obamacare individual mandate. The individual mandate left many people paying high fines for not having healthcare.
“That is a big deal and something I led the fight to do in the Senate. I will tell you: back in October, there were maybe a half-dozen senators supporting us,” Cruz said. “Most of the conference said ‘Look, we made a run at Obamacare twice and we came up short. Let’s not muck up tax reform with Obamacare.'”
Cruz argued that the repeal of the mandate would lessen the burden people would have if they couldn’t afford health insurance.
“Here is how the Obamacare individual mandate works. Every year, the IRS fines 6.5 million Americans because they can’t afford health insurance. Of those, roughly 80 percent earn $50,000 per year or less. Roughly 40 percent, earn $25,000 a year or less. About 1 million are Texans. I want you to imagine for a second that you are a single mom. You are working two jobs and you are struggling to make ends meet and you are trying to provide for your kids. You are not even making $25,000 a year and to add insult to injury, the IRS comes along and fines you because you can’t afford to pay the premiums that have skyrocketed under Obamacare.”
He also pointed out that it was a conservative victory to overhaul the individual mandate because in the beginning only six senators who wanted to repeal it, but by the time the vote came along all 52 were on board.
“That is a big conservative victory that no one in Washington thought we would win,” he said. “Look, Obamacare is clearly the biggest unfinished promise that Republicans have. We need to finish the job. We need to keep rolling up our sleeves and finish the job and repeal every single word of Obamacare.”
5. School choice tax bill amendment
Cruz introduced an amendment that would change school choice availability by extending 529 college funds to also apply to K-12 education. This tax bill amendment was the only one to be adopted on the Senate floor, which was a huge accomplishment for Cruz, and conservatives.
The new bill benefits those that want to place their children in a different schooling program than the public school that their taxes normally go towards. This provision allows parents to have the ability to take up to $10,000 from their 529 plans, which makes it easier for parents to afford private education.
“With that, we saw the most far-reaching, federal school choice legislation that has ever passed come into law providing benefits to up to 50 million school kids across the country, enabling parents and grandparents to save for your kids and to save for your grandkids and choose the best education options for them.”
6. Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem
In May, the U.S. Embassy in Israel was moved to Jerusalem, which is something Christians in Congress have fought for years, including Senator Cruz.
Both past presidents promised to make the move, but failed. Cruz thanked Trump for finally following through on the promise.
“We had a year-and-a-half battle in the Trump administration. I energetically argued for moving the embassy and President Trump made the right decision and now our embassy is in Jerusalem, the once and eternal capital of Israel.”
7. Withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal
Last but not least, Cruz argued that the withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal was a pivotal moment. Cruz has been a staunch critic of the deal since the Obama administration implemented it. In September 2015, Cruz and Donald Trump held a co-rally simply to point out why the agreement was detrimental.
“The president made the right decision to withdraw from the disastrous Obama-Iran nuclear deal. Obama had sent tens of billions of dollars to the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, the Ayatollah Khomeini, who chants ‘Death to America and death to Israel.’ When he says that, I believe him,” Cruz said during the conference.
Cruz believes that the nuclear deal with Iran would actually place nuclear weapons in Iran’s hands.
“Once again, there was a battle in the Trump administration over whether we should stay in the deal or pull out. I urged the president that the right thing to do for the national security of this country is pull out of the deal and use every force we have — economic, diplomatic and if need be, military, to ensure the ayatollah never ever gets nuclear weapons.”
“We see in the federal courts all across the country, we see it in Justice Neil Gorsuch and let me be one to thank God for the victory we had this week in the Colorado [baker’s case].”