Sen. Ted Cruz, during a Tuesday appearance on Fox News’ ‘Hannity’, discussed the battle to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and the senator’s fight to keep the promise Congressional Republicans made over and over to the American people to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Asked about the Democrats’ Smearing and obstruction of Judge Gorsuch, Cruz said that there is going to be an up or down vote this week and Gorsuch will be confirmed. Cruz called that a victory for the American people:
Sean Hannity: This [Democrats’] obstruction comes on the heels of a performance where Democrats tried and failed to smear President Trumps pick. The last option of obstruction that is available, the filibuster. Only four Democrats are promising to oppose the filibuster and that means that such a filibuster is highly possible and Republicans will be left with one option. To invoke the nuclear option or the constitutional option and extend Harry Reid’s 50 vote threshold for the first time ever to a Supreme Court nominee. Joining us now, Ted Cruz. Senator, the real precedent — the real lack of precedents here. It’s never happened before in over 200 years. A partisan Democratic party that will not allow an up or down vote because they know they will lose. So, what do you think happens?
Sen. Ted Cruz: Sean, you are exactly right. You played some of those early clips of Democrats talking about the need to have an up or down vote on Supreme Court justices. They were very persuasive. I think they are right. We are going to have an up or down vote on Judge Gorsuch and this week Judge Gorsuch will be confirmed at the next associate justice of the Supreme Court. That really is a victory for the American people. This last election as you know was in many ways a referendum on what sort of justice would replace Justice Antonin Scalia. Hillary Clinton promised a liberal activist and Donald Trump promised a principled constitutionalist like Judge Neil Gorsuch. This week we’re going to see that promised delivered upon as Judge Gorsuch gets confirmed.
Hannity noted how Schumer has furiously tried to shift the blame to the Republicans for the further diminishment of the filibuster, which is going to be the result of Schumer’s extremely radical obstruction. As Hannity put it, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is doing something that has never happened before — filibustering an up or down vote. Senate Mitch Majority Leader McConnell points out that no Republican has ever voted to filibuster a Supreme Court nominee.
It is important to note here that historically it has always been the Democrats that have diminished the filibuster, changing the rules so they are able to get their partisan way rather than reach a bipartisan consensus. After Senate Democrats, under Harry Reid’s leadership, actually nuked the filibuster for presidential appointments, except Supreme Court nominees — something Reid said would change the U.S. Senate forever, the Democrats don’t want the blame for diminishing the filibuster again.
The discussion then turned to Obamacare. As he has done before, when asked about health care reform, Sen. Cruz explained that failure is not an option when it comes to repealing Obamacare:
Sean Hannity: I know you have been very active and very supportive coming up with creative solutions and meeting with a lot of people as it relates to health care. From my perspective, getting it right is far more important than any artificial timetable. What do you see happening in the process right now?
Sen. Ted Cruz: You are exactly right. When it comes to repealing Obamacare, in my view failure is not an option. For six years, Republicans have been promising the American people, if you elect us we will get this done. We have got to get the job done. . . . I’m spending virtually every moment night and day meeting with House members, meeting with Senators, meeting with the administration trying to get people to yes. And people want to get to yes. Conservatives want to get to yes, moderates want to get to yes, and we can get this done. The central test for success is going to be whether we drive down the cost of premiums. We need to make health insurance more affordable so people can afford to get care for the families. If we do that, we will have succeeded. If we don’t, we will have failed.
Sean Hannity: Is about two simple things. Nobody cares about the Byrd rule, cloture, and reconciliation. What they care about are lower premiums and better health care. And you’re working with all these varying groups – you’re even working with moderates and conservatives – everybody knows I guess that they can’t get everything they want, right?
Sen. Ted Cruz: That’s exactly right. The players want to get to yes. If we set our goal, how do you lower health insurance premiums? There are a lot of tools and we know what those tools are. The most important is addressing the Obamacare insurance mandates. Under Obamacare, there are dozen mandates that are the prime drivers for premium skyrockets. The House bill just repealed two of those 12. It left 10 of the 12 Obamacare mandates in place. That doesn’t make any sense because it makes health care unaffordable. There are other tools we have things like enabling people to purchase across state lines, things like association health plans. Letting people pay premiums from health savings accounts which means you’re using pre-tax dollars. All of those are consensus ideas that bring together conservatives, bring together moderates . . .
Sean Hannity: And that’s what the President promised.
Sen. Ted Cruz: That’s exactly right.
The discussion ended with Hannity asking Cruz about his working relationship with President Donald J. Trump. In his reply, Cruz said, “We are meeting frequently and I’m doing everything I can to help lead the fight for President Trump and all of us in Congress to deliver on the promises we made to the American people. Cruz then hit one of my favorite themes — the opportunity that presents itself to accomplish some important things now that we have a “unified” GOP-controlled federal government:
Sen. Ted Cruz: We have a historic opportunity. In 2017 we are poised to do four big things. To repeal Obamacare, pass fundamental tax reform, see major regulatory reform and confirm a strong conservative to the Supreme Court. If we do those four, 2017 is a blockbuster year.
You can watch the discussion below: