U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz visits East Texas, talks health care and tax reform

Published on Friday, 4 August 2017 16:26 - Written by ROY MAYNARD, rmaynard@tylerpaper.com

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz stopped in East Texas on Friday, pledging to make good on the Republicans’ promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Speaking to a group of employees of Brookshire Grocery Company, Cruz acknowledged that Senate Republicans failed in their effort last week to pass a bill to repeal the ACA, also known as Obamacare.

“I believe we’ll get it done,” Cruz said. “We’ll get it done by making the central issue lowering premiums. How will we do that? Basic economics. We’ll offer more choices.”

Cruz urged his audience to not get distracted by political gamesmanship in Washington.

“Ignore the circus,” he said. “There will be hyperventilating voices on cable news every night for the next four years. That’s just the way it’s going to be. Ignore those. Texas are interested in results, and that’s what we will focus on.”

Earlier in the day, Cruz visited Skeeter Boats in Kilgore, then toured the Robert M. Rogers Nursing and Health Science Center at Tyler Junior College before speaking to a group of students and staff.

Cruz spoke about taking advantage of the opportunities in their lives. He said when he likes to think about his father’s story for inspiration. Rafael Cruz immigrated to the United States from Cuba, with no money and unable to speak English, building himself up from a dishwasher to a successful businessman, Cruz said of his father.

When asked about how Washington could help with the overwhelming debt many students face with student loans, Cruz said the best solution was to focus on creating opportunities for small businesses to thrive.

At Brookshire’s, Cruz also addressed the issue of immigration, referring to newly introduced legislation that would greatly curb legal immigration. He voiced his disapproval of that notion.

“I can sum up my position on immigration in four words,” he said. “Legal good, illegal bad. I think most Americans would agree with that. I believe we can secure the border, and at the same time welcome and celebrate legal immigrants. My own father came to American from Cuba. Ronald Reagan referred to legal immigrants as ‘Americans by choice.’ I agree with that.”

He also discussed tax reform, which is next up on the GOP’s agenda.

“I’m urging the president to do two things on tax reform – make it bold and make it simple,” he said. There’s power in bold simplicity. Personally, I’d like to see it so simple that it’s basically a flat tax and we can abolish the IRS. We may not get that far this time, but bold and simple is the goal.”

Cruz is up for re-election in 2018. He has a Democratic challenger, El Paso Congressman Beto O’Rourke.