Contact: 202-224-5922
Website: http://www.cruz.senate.gov

Name: Ted Cruz


Senate: Texas, Republican


Cumulative Freedom Index Score: 90%


Status: Active Member of the Senate

Score Breakdown:
90% (113th Congress: 2013-2014)

Key Votes:



On the Nomination of Sylvia Burwell: Sylvia Mathews Burwell, of West Virginia, to be Secretary of Health and Human Services
Vote Date: June 5, 2014Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Burwell Nomination.

On April 11, 2014, President Obama nominated Sylvia Mathews Burwell to succeed Kathleen Sebelius as secretary of Health and Human Services. One of the most remarkable things about Burwell's resume is that she has served in so many high-level positions in government and the non-profit sector. For example, while serving for eight years in the Clinton administration, she rose to become deputy chief of staff to the president. During her decade serving in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (2001-2011), she was executive vice president, chief operating officer, and president of the Global Development Program. Of course, the Gates Foundation is a huge financial supporter of pro-abortion organizations, such as Planned Parenthood Federation of America and International Planned Parenthood Federation, and has funded the creation of the Common Core educational standards. She is also a member of the globalist-minded Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), serving on its Board of Directors from 2007 to 2013, and the Trilateral Commission. With this network of establishment elite connections, Burwell is especially well suited to implement the unconstitutional, socialistic ObamaCare legislation.

The Senate confirmed the nomination on June 5, 2014 by a vote of 78 to 17 (Roll Call 175). We have assigned pluses to the nays because opposing the nomination of such a high-ranking establishment operative to be point person for implementing the unconstitutional ObamaCare law should be a no-brainer for Constitution-supporting senators.



On Cloture on the Motion to Proceed S. 2223: A bill to provide for an increase in the Federal minimum wage and to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend increased expensing limitations and the treatment of certain real property as section 179 property.
Vote Date: April 30, 2014Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Minimum Wage.

During consideration of the bill to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 (S. 2223), Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) offered a motion to invoke cloture, and thus limit debate, so the bill could come up for a vote.

The Senate rejected Reid's motion to invoke cloture on April 30, 2014 by a vote of 54 to 42 (60 votes, three-fifths of the full Senate, are needed to invoke cloture; Roll Call 117). We have assigned pluses to the nays because any debate on the Senate floor that could prevent a federal minimum wage increase is a good thing. A federal minimum wage is unconstitutional, since nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government authorized to dictate how much private businesses pay their employees for services performed as part of a private, voluntary contract. Furthermore, many studies have demonstrated that minimum wage increases always lead to more unemployment among the poor and unskilled workers, the very people whom the wage increase is ostensibly intended to help.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 3979: A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to ensure that emergency services volunteers are not taken into account as employees under the shared responsibility requirements contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Vote Date: April 7, 2014Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Unemployment Benefits Extension.

This bill (H.R. 3979) was for the extension of unemployment benefits through May 31 of 2014. These extended benefits were to be paid for by adjustments to employers' pension contributions and by extending U.S. Customs and Border Protection user fees through 2024.

The Senate passed H.R. 3979 on April 7, 2014 by a vote of 59 to 38 (Roll Call 101). We have assigned pluses to the nays because, by paying people unemployment benefits, the federal government is essentially subsidizing unemployment. That the federal government does this in the first place is bad enough, but any extension of said benefits is even worse. At a time when government debt is nearly $17 trillion, paying unemployment benefits is fiscally irresponsible. Furthermore, the U.S. Constitution nowhere authorizes the federal government to provide unemployment benefits to workers. This type of welfare should be handled on the state or local level, if handled by the government at all.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 2867 to H.R. 4152 (Support for the Sovereignty, Integrity, Democracy, and Economic Stability of Ukraine Act of 2014): In the nature of a substitute.
Vote Date: March 27, 2014Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Ukraine Aid.

The Senate version of this legislation - offered in the form of a substitute amendment to the House version, H.R. 4152 — would provide $150 million for direct aid to Ukraine. It would also provide for loan guarantees (meaning that the U.S. taxpayers would be stuck holding the bag if the loans are not paid). And it would impose sanctions on Russian and ex-Ukrainian officials deemed responsible for the crisis in the Ukraine.

The Senate adopted the substitute amendment to H.R. 4152 on March 27, 2014 by a vote of 98 to 2 (Roll Call 88). We have assigned pluses to the nays because foreign aid is unconstitutional. The rationale for providing U.S. aid to Ukraine is that the country needs our assistance to resist Russian hegemony and build "democracy." Yet the oligarchs wielding power in Ukraine are hardly "democrats," and (because money is fungible) U.S. assistance could effectively be funneled to Russia in the form of Ukrainian energy and debt payments.



On Passage of the Bill S. 1086: A bill to reauthorize and improve the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: March 13, 2014Vote: AYEBad Vote.
Child Care.

This bill (S. 1086) would reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant program through fiscal 2020 and would further institute new standards for education, health, and safety on child care providers that receive funds under this program. It would also expand the information required from states regarding how they will make use of the funds, as well as require that the states develop plans that include guidelines for training and teaching children from the time they are born until they enroll in kindergarten. The CBO has estimated that implementing this bill would cost $16.8 billion over the 2015-2020 period.

The Senate passed S. 1086 on March 13, 2014 by a vote of 96 to 2 (Roll Call 77). We have assigned pluses to the nays because childcare funding is an unconstitutional activity of the federal government. Just based on the brief description of S. 1086 in the above paragraph, it is clear that this bill would increase federal oversight of child care and impose national standards reminiscent of what the widely reviled Common Core State (read National) Standards are doing to K-12 education.



On the Motion (Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to S.540): An act to temporarily extend the public debt limit, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: February 12, 2014Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Debt Limit Suspension.

This bill (S. 540), entitled the "Temporary Debt Limit Extension Act," would suspend the national debt limit on federal debt through March 15, 2015 - the temporary aspect of the legislation. But the additional debt accumulated between enactment of this bill and March 15, 2015 would not be "temporary," since on the following day the legislation would automatically re-establish the debt limit at a higher level, reflecting the additional debt.

The Senate passed S. 540 on February 12, 2014 by a vote of 55 to 43 (Roll Call 34). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government should live within its means, suspending the debt limit is even worse than raising it, and most of the spending responsible for the ballooning national debt is unconstitutional. (The House passed this bill on February 11; see House vote below.)

[ This bill (S. 540), entitled the "Temporary Debt Limit Extension Act," would suspend the national debt limit on federal debt through March 15, 2015 - the temporary aspect of the legislation. But the additional debt accumulated between enactment of this bill and March 15, 2015 would not be "temporary," since on the following day the legislation would automatically re-establish the debt limit at a higher level, reflecting the additional debt. ]



On the Conference Report H.R. 2642: A bill to provide for the reform and continuation of agricultural and other programs of the Department of Agriculture through fiscal year 2018, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: February 4, 2014Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Farm and Food Programs.

This bill (H.R. 2642) would reauthorize federal farm and nutrition programs through fiscal 2018, including crop subsidies and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, formerly known as food stamps. Though this legislation is entitled the Agriculture Act of 2014, most of the funding in the bill is not for agricultural programs but for food programs. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the final version of this legislation (conference report) would cost $956 billion over 10 years, of which $756 billion would be for nutrition programs.

The Senate passed the conference report on February 4, 2014 by a vote of 68 to 32 (Roll Call 21). We have assigned pluses to the nays because both farm aid and food aid are unconstitutional. The food subsidy programs are supposed to help the poor, but in practice they have done little to lift people out of poverty, as evidenced by the growing number of recipients of these programs. (The House passed the conference report on January 29, 2014; see House vote below.)

[ This bill (H.R. 2642) would reauthorize federal farm and nutrition programs through fiscal 2018, including crop subsidies and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, formerly known as food stamps. Though this bill is entitled the Agriculture Act of 2014, most of the funding in the bill is not for agricultural programs but for food programs. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the final version of this legislation (conference report) would cost $956 billion over 10 years, of which $756 billion would be for nutrition programs. ]



On the Motion (Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 3547): Making consolidated appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2014, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: January 16, 2014Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Omnibus Appropriations.

On January 16, 2014, the Senate accepted the House concurrence in the Senate version of the omnibus appropriations bill (H.R. 3547), completing congressional action. H.R. 3547 provides about $1.1 trillion in discretionary appropriations in fiscal 2014 for numerous federal departments and agencies. The legislation satisfies the $1.012 trillion cap on discretionary spending established by the December budget deal, which had repealed a portion of sequestration cuts provided by the 2011 debt limit law. This amounts to a 2.6 percent increase in discretionary spending compared to the sequester-reduced level for fiscal 2013. See House vote below for more information.

[During consideration of the omnibus appropriations bill (H.R. 3547), Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) moved that the House concur with the Senate version of the bill that would provide about $1.1 trillion in discretionary spending in fiscal 2014 for the following federal departments and agencies: Agriculture ($20.9 billion), Commerce-Justice-Science ($51.6 billion), Defense ($572 billion), overseas contingency operations associated with the war in Afghanistan and other counterterrorism operations ($85.2 billion), Energy-Water ($34.1 billion), Financial Services ($21.9 billion), Homeland Security ($39.3 billion), Interior-Environment ($30.1 billion), Labor-HHS-Education ($156.8 billion), Legislative Branch ($4.3 billion), Military Construction-VA ($73.3 billion), State-Foreign Affairs ($49 billion), and Transportation-HUD ($50.9 billion). The legislation satisfies the $1.012 trillion cap on discretionary spending established by the December budget deal, which had repealed a portion of sequestration cuts provided by the 2011 debt limit law. This amounts to a 2.6 percent increase in discretionary spending compared to the sequester-reduced level for fiscal 2013. The bill also includes $98 billion not subject to the budget cap, including funding for war-related and anti-terrorism programs, as well as disaster relief.]

The Senate agreed to the final version of H.R. 3547 on January 16, 2014 by a vote of 72 to 26 (Roll Call 13). We have assigned pluses to the nays because with this budget agreement Congress is failing to address its fiscally and constitutionally irresponsible budgeting and appropriating process that is currently yielding annual federal deficits measured in the hundreds of billions of dollars that contribute directly to the dramatic growth of our $17 trillion national debt.



On the Nomination of Janet Yellen: Janet L. Yellen, of California, to be Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System for a term of four years
Vote Date: January 6, 2014Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Yellen Nomination.

On October 9, 2013, President Obama nominated Janet Yellen to succeed Ben Bernanke as chair of the Federal Reserve. Having served as vice-chair of the Fed since October 2010, Yellen is closely associated with Bernanke's decision to proceed with "QE (Quantitative Easing) unlimited," the Fed's unlimited purchasing of bonds until the market "substantially" improves. Yellen's promotion to chair is a clear indication that the Fed will continue to recklessly pump trillions of newly created fiat (unbacked) dollars into the economy, in turn radically expanding the money supply and further diminishing the purchasing power of the dollar to buy goods and services, which is especially burdensome to the poor and elderly. Furthermore, Yellen's policy of keeping interest rates artificially low will encourage additional irresponsible and excessive borrowing, as well as malinvestments.

The Senate confirmed the nomination on January 6, 2014 by a vote of 56 to 26 (Roll Call 1). We have assigned pluses to the nays because of the economic havoc, caused by inflation, that Yellen contributed to as vice-chair and that she intends to continue as the new chair of the Fed. Furthermore, a central bank, such as the Fed, that creates money out of thin air is not authorized by the Constitution.



On the Motion (Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.J.Res. 59): A joint resolution making continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2014, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: December 18, 2013Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Budget Agreement.

On December 18, 2013, the Senate accepted the House concurrence in the Senate version of H. J. Res. 59, the budget agreement. See House vote below for more information.

[ During consideration of the Budget Agreement for fiscal 2014 (House Joint Resolution 59), Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) moved that the House concur with the Senate version of the fiscal 2014 continuing resolution (H. J. Res 59) that would increase the discretionary spending caps for fiscal 2014 and 2015 to $1.012 trillion and $1.014 trillion, respectively. This represents an increase of $26 billion for 2014 and $19 billion for 2015. Furthermore, this amounts to the elimination of $63 billion in sequester cuts for 2014 and 2015. Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) explained his no vote on this budget agreement in a Facebook post for December 24, 2013: "Instead of real compromise to reform the biggest budget items contributing to our $17 trillion debt — Social Security, military spending, and Medicare - the bill increases federal spending for special interests by tens of billions of dollars and pays for it by raising taxes on millions of Americans." ]

The Senate agreed to the final version of H. J. Res. 59 on December 18, 2013 by a vote of 64 to 36 (Roll Call 281). We have assigned pluses to the nays because with this budget agreement Congress is failing to address its fiscally and constitutionally irresponsible budgeting and appropriating process that is currently yielding annual federal deficits measured in the hundreds of billions of dollars that contribute directly to the dramatic growth of our $17 trillion national debt.



On Passage of the Bill S. 815: A bill to prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Vote Date: November 7, 2013Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Employment Nondiscrimination.
This bill (S. 815) would prohibit employers, employment agencies, and labor organizations from discriminating against employees, applicants, or members on the basis of perceived or actual sexual orientation or gender identity. This essentially gives homosexual and transgender persons a "protected status" where employment is concerned. Religious organizations are exempt from this bill, but organizations owned by or affiliated with religious organizations are not.

The Senate passed the bill on November 7, 2013 by a vote of 64 to 32 (Roll Call 232). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government is overstepping its constitutional boundaries by dictating the hiring practices of private employers. While the exemption for religious organizations is a good thing, the bill is still a serious infringement on private property rights as it limits what a person can and cannot do on his or her private property, in this case a business.



On the Motion to Proceed S.J.Res. 26: A joint resolution relating to the disapproval of the President's exercise of authority to suspend the debt limit, as submitted under section 1002(b) of the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014 on October 17, 2013.
Vote Date: October 29, 2013Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Debt Limit Increase Disapproval.
The legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by the president to fund the federal government including ObamaCare through January 15, 2014 (see below) also provided for the suspension of the national debt ceiling through February 7, 2014. By suspending this limit on how much money the federal government may borrow, the president can run up the national debt by whatever amount he deems necessary to meet government obligations, without having to ask Congress to once again increase federal borrowing authority. However, the legislation includes a procedure for Congress to disapprove of the president raising the national debt limit.

In accordance with this procedure, Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) made a motion to consider a resolution (Senate Joint Resolution 26) to disapprove of President Obama suspending the national debt limit. His motion of disapproval was rejected on October 29, 2013 by a vote of 45 to 54 (Roll Call 220). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government should live within its means and because most of the spending responsible for the ballooning national debt is unconstitutional.

[ GOP Cave-in. The impasse over the continuing appropriations bill came to an end when, on the 16th day of the partial government shutdown, the House concurred in a Senate amendment that rewrote the House bill H.R. 2775, which had only contained a provision to prevent ObamaCare subsidies to individuals without verifying income, etc. As amended, the bill suspended the federal debt limit through February 7, 2014, and continued funding government operations through January 15, 2014 at the fiscal 2013 post-sequestration spending level. It did not include any provision to defund ObamaCare.]



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 2775: An act making continuing appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2014, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: October 16, 2013Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Continuing Resolution.
This bill (H.R. 2775), as amended by the Senate (see below), was the result of a negotiated deal that ended the partial government shutdown over the Republican attempt to defund ObamaCare. It continued funding government operations, including ObamaCare, through January 15, 2014. The amount of spending in the bill was based on the fiscal 2013 post-sequestration spending level. The legislation also suspended the federal debt limit through February 7, 2014.

The Senate passed the bill on October 16, 2013 by a vote of 81 to 18 (Roll Call 219). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the negotiated deal contained in this bill constituted a cave-in by congressional Republicans that ended the Republican attempt to defund the unconstitutional ObamaCare law.

[ GOP Cave-in. The impasse over the continuing appropriations bill came to an end when, on the 16th day of the partial government shutdown, the House concurred in a Senate amendment that rewrote the House bill H.R. 2775, which had only contained a provision to prevent ObamaCare subsidies to individuals without verifying income, etc. As amended, the bill suspended the federal debt limit through February 7, 2014, and continued funding government operations through January 15, 2014 at the fiscal 2013 post-sequestration spending level. It did not include any provision to defund ObamaCare.]



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 1974 to H.J.Res. 59 (Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014): Of a perfecting nature.
Vote Date: September 27, 2013Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Continuing Resolution/Defunding ObamaCare.
During consideration of the fiscal 2014 continuing appropriations bill (House Joint Resolution 59), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) offered a perfecting amendment that replaces the text of the continuing resolution with language supported by Senate Democrats. The amendment would strip from the bill language supported by the House to defund ObamaCare. It would also provide continuing appropriations to fund government operations from the start of fiscal year 2014 on October 1, 2013 through November 15, 2013 that would reflect an annual "discretionary" spending level of about $986.3 billion - approximately the same amount of discretionary spending in fiscal 2013.

The Senate adopted Reid's amendment on September 27, 2013 by a vote of 54 to 44 (Roll Call 208). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the Senate used this amendment to reject the House's attempt to defund the unconstitutional ObamaCare law. The impasse between the House-passed CR that would have defunded ObamaCare (see below) and the Senate language that continued funding ObamaCare along with other government operations, led to the 16-day partial government shutdown.

[ House Bill: House Joint Resolution 59 would provide continuing appropriations to fund government operations from the beginning of fiscal year 2014 on October 1, 2013 until December 15, 2013 at approximately the same amount of "discretionary" spending as fiscal 2013, and it would defund ObamaCare. This bill represents the House Republicans' implementation of the strategy for defunding ObamaCare via a continuing resolution (CR). The bill contains appropriations for huge amounts of unconstitutional spending, it would completely defund unconstitutional ObamaCare in fiscal 2014. ]



On the Joint Resolution H.J.Res. 59: A joint resolution making continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2014, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: September 27, 2013Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Continuing Resolution.
This vote represents Senate passage of the continuing resolution (House Joint Resolution 59), as amended by the Reid perfecting amendment (described by Senate vote below) to continue funding the federal government, including ObamaCare, through November 15, 2013.

[ Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) offered a perfecting amendment that replaces the text of the continuing resolution with language supported by Senate Democrats. The amendment would strip from the bill language supported by the House to defund ObamaCare. ]

The Senate passed this version of the continuing resolution on September 27, 2013 by a vote of 54 to 44 (Roll Call 209). We have assigned pluses to the nays because this vote affirmed the Senate's rejection of the House's attempt to defund the unconstitutional ObamaCare law. At the time, however, the House was unwilling to back down, and a modified version of the continuing resolution - albeit one including the ObamaCare funding - was later passed by both the Senate and the House (see below).

[ GOP Cave-in. The impasse over the continuing appropriations bill came to an end when, on the 16th day of the partial government shutdown, the House concurred in a Senate amendment that rewrote the House bill H.R. 2775, which had only contained a provision to prevent ObamaCare subsidies to individuals without verifying income, etc. As amended, the bill suspended the federal debt limit through February 7, 2014, and continued funding government operations through January 15, 2014 at the fiscal 2013 post-sequestration spending level. It did not include any provision to defund ObamaCare.]



On the Cloture Motion S. 1243: An original bill making appropriations for the Departments of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2014, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: August 1, 2013Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Transportation-HUD Appropriations.
This appropriations bill (S. 1243) would provide $54 billion in fiscal 2014 for the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Total spending called for by the bill would be "about $5.6 billion more than the current level under the sequester," according to Congressional Quarterly. And much of the spending allocations — such as $19.6 billion for the Section 8 rental-assistance program — is unconstitutional.

Republicans filibustered against the bill because of the amount of spending it contained. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who favored the bill, offered a motion to invoke cloture, in order to break the filibuster and allow the bloated bill to come to a vote. But the Senate rejected Reid's motion on August 1, 2013 by a vote of 54 to 43 (60 votes - three-fifths of the full Senate - are needed to invoke cloture; Roll Call 199). We have assigned pluses to the nays not only because the bill called for more spending but also because much of the spending is unconstitutional.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 1739 to S. 1243 (Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations): To redirect certain foreign assistance to the Government of Egypt as a result of the July 3, 2013, military coup d'etat.
Vote Date: July 31, 2013Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Aid to Egypt.
During consideration of the fiscal 2014 Transportation-HUD appropriations bill (S. 1243), Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) offered a motion to table (kill) an amendment by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). Paul's amendment would have established that the July 3, 2013 overthrow of the Mohammed Morsi government in Egypt was a military coup d'état, thus prohibiting the United States from providing military aid to Egypt until another "democratic" election occurs. As Paul noted in the text of the amendment, "The United States is legally prohibited from providing foreign assistance to any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by a military coup d'état, or removed in such a way that the military plays a decisive role.... [Military aid] shall be halted until the President certifies to Congress that democratic national elections have taken place in Egypt followed by a peaceful transfer of power."

The money that would be used for military aid to Egypt would instead, under Paul’s amendment, be redirected for the repair of U.S. bridges and other critical national highways.

The Senate agreed to the motion and killed the Paul amendment on July 31, 2013 by a vote of 86 to 13 (Roll Call 195). We have assigned pluses to the nays because a reduction in foreign aid, particularly in the form of military assistance, is a good thing. The Constitution does not authorize the government to give foreign aid and meddle in other nations’ internal affairs, so while Paul's amendment would allow for the resumption of aid to Egypt, it would still be an improvement on the status quo.



On the Cloture Motion S. 1238: A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to extend the current reduced interest rate for undergraduate Federal Direct Stafford Loans for 1 year, to modify required distribution rules for pension plans, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: July 10, 2013Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Student Loans.
During consideration of the Keep Student Loans Affordable Act of 2013 (S. 1238), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) offered a motion to invoke cloture and thus end debate on the bill so it could be voted on. This act would serve to extend the 3.4-percent interest rate on undergraduate Stafford loans disbursed to students between July 1, 2011, and July 1, 2013 to between July 1, 2011, and July 1, 2014.

The Senate rejected Reid's motion, and thus did not invoke cloture, on July 10, 2013 by a vote of 51 to 49 (Roll Call 171). We have assigned pluses to the nays because forcing a vote on an unconstitutional action of the federal government is a bad thing. The U.S. government should not be in the business of subsidizing higher education to begin with, and continuing a low interest rate on student loans would merely encourage this unconstitutional activity. Additionally, owing to the ease of obtaining government loans for education and the sheer amount of unpaid student debt, the nation is now facing a colossal "student debt bubble" that could have severe negative economic consequences.



On Passage of the Bill S. 744: A bill to provide for comprehensive immigration reform and for other purposes.
Vote Date: June 27, 2013Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Immigration Reform.
This bill (S. 744) would provide an overhaul of U.S. immigration policy that features the granting of immediate legal status for most illegal immigrants in the United States (aka amnesty), new visa programs for a wide range of workers from low-skilled to high-skilled, and new border security measures (only reducing the illegal immigration rate by 25-50 percent according to the Congressional Budget Office). While the rate of legal immigration into the United States is currently about one million per year, this bill would raise the average legal immigration rate to several million per year.

The Senate passed the Immigration Overhaul on June 27, 2013 by a vote of 68 to 32 (Roll Call 168). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the large-scale amnesty and new visa programs coupled with a lack of effective border security would lead to both large increases in legal immigration and continuing large-scale illegal immigration, even though the U.S. government has the duty under Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution to "protect [every state] against Invasion." Furthermore, we have assigned pluses to the nays because, by granting amnesty, increasing levels of legal immigration, and permitting continued large-scale illegal immigration, this bill provides a transition to the open borders sought by the advocates of a North American Union and other regional government schemes threatening our national sovereignty.



On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 1200 to S. 744 (Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act): To provide for enhanced border security, including strong border security metrics and congressional votes on border security and for other purposes.
Vote Date: June 19, 2013Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Border Security.
During consideration of the Immigration Overhaul (S. 744), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) offered a motion to table (kill) an amendment offered by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) that would "not allow the processing of this new category called registered provisional immigrants until Congress votes that the border is secure." Paul's amendment featured a requirement that Congress certify every year for five years that the border is secure or at least making specific progress toward border security as defined in detail by the amendment. If Congress would vote in any of these five years that the border is not becoming more secure, then the processing of people as "registered provisional immigrants" as provided for in S. 744 would stop until Congress would vote that the border is becoming more secure.

The Senate agreed to Reid's motion and killed the Paul amendment on June 19, 2013 by a vote of 61 to 37 (Roll Call 154). We have assigned pluses to the nays because it is the constitutional duty of the United States to "protect [every state] against Invasion" (Article IV, Section 4).



On Passage of the Bill S. 954: An original bill to reauthorize agricultural programs through 2018.
Vote Date: June 10, 2013Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Food and Farm Programs. The farm bill (S. 954) would authorize federal farm and food programs through fiscal 2018. It would also replace direct payments to farmers with a new "adverse market payments" program that would provide subsidies when prices fall below a historic reference. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the total cost of S. 954 would be $955 billion for the 10-year period 2014-2023. This legislation is generally referred to as the farm bill, but most of the spending is for SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) and other "nutrition" programs in the bill. CBO estimates that the nutrition programs would cost $760 billion over 10 years, compared to $41.4 billion for farm commodity programs.

The Senate passed the farm bill on June 10, 2013 by a vote of 66 to 27 (Roll Call 145). We have assigned pluses to the nays because both federal food and farm subsidies are unconstitutional. Though the CBO estimates that S. 954 would cost $18 billion less over 10 years than under current law, this reduction would only be 1.9 percent of projected spending.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 965 to S. 954 (Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2013): To permit States to require that any food, beverage, or other edible product offered for sale have a label on indicating that the food, beverage, or other edible product contains a genetically engineered ingredient.
Vote Date: May 23, 2013Vote: NAYBad Vote.
Product Labeling for Genetically Modified Food. During consideration of the Farm Bill (S. 954), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) offered an amendment (Amendment 965) to allow states to require that any food, beverage, or other edible product have a label indicating that it contains a genetically engineered ingredient, such as pesticide-resistant plants.

Sen. Sanders remarked during consideration of his amendment: "This is a pretty simple issue, and the issue is do the American people have a right to know what they are eating, what is in the food they are ingesting and what their kids are eating.... What this amendment does is very simple. It basically says States that choose to go forward on this issue do have the right. It is not condemning GMOs or anything else. It is simply saying that States have the right to go forward."

The Senate rejected Sanders' amendment on May 23, 2013 by a vote of 27 to 71 (Roll Call 135). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government does not have the constitutional authority to prevent states from enacting their own product-labeling requirements.



On Passage of the Bill S. 743: A bill to restore States' sovereign rights to enforce State and local sales and use tax laws, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: May 6, 2013Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Internet Sales Tax. This bill (S. 743) would allow states to require out-of-state retailers with annual online sales that exceed $1 million to collect sales taxes on items delivered to the state. States would have to simplify how they collect and audit their sales taxes, and provide free software to retailers to calculate the taxes owed. States would not be allowed to impose different sales tax requirements on out-of-state online sellers from those required of in-state retailers.

The Senate passed S. 743 on May 6, 2013 by a vote of 69 to 27 (Roll Call 113). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the Internet sales tax would essentially be a tax on interstate commerce, which is unconstitutional according to Article I Section 9: "No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State." Furthermore, requiring online retailers to collect sales taxes from numerous states would pose onerous burdens to small businesses and hinder economic growth.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 711 to S. 649 (Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of2013): To regulate assault weapons, to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: April 17, 2013Vote: NAYGood Vote.
"Assault Weapons" Ban. During consideration of gun control legislation (S. 649), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) offered an amendment that would ban the future manufacture, import, sale, transfer, or possession of certain semi-automatic firearms considered to be "assault weapons."

According to an article by Tim Brown entitled "Dianne Feinstein's Assault Weapons Ban Defeated," posted on freedomoutpost.com on April 17, 2013, "The legislation that would have banned the sale of 157 different semi-automatic weapons, including handguns and even shotguns, along with high capacity magazines has come to its much deserved end. This bill was similar but even more expansive than her previous gun ban bill that was passed in 1994 and signed into law by Bill Clinton."

The Senate rejected Feinstein's amendment on April 17, 2013 by a vote of 40 to 60 (Roll Call 101). We have assigned pluses to the nays because banning firearms from law-abiding citizens is a clear violation of the Constitution - the Second Amendment guarantees that our "right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 714 to S. 649 (Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of2013): To regulate large capacity ammunition feeding devices.
Vote Date: April 17, 2013Vote: NAYGood Vote.
High-capacity Clip Ban. During consideration of gun-control legislation (S. 649), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) offered an amendment on behalf of Sen. Frank Lautenberg that would ban the future manufacture, import, sale, transfer, or possession of ammunition clips holding more than 10 rounds, with exemptions for law-enforcement officials.

During the floor debate on this amendment, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) made these remarks, "Mr. President, I oppose the amendment. In 2004, we had a study by the Department of Justice, which is the last time we had the large-capacity magazine banned. It found no evidence banning such magazines has led to a reduction in gun violence. The study also concluded it is not clear how often the outcomes of the gun attack depend on the ability of offenders to fire more than 10 shots without reloading. The report found no evidence more people would be alive if a magazine over 10 rounds was banned. Secondly, there is no evidence banning these magazines has reduced the deaths from gun crimes. In fact, when the previous ban was in effect, a higher percentage of gun crime victims were killed or wounded than before it was adopted."

The Senate rejected Blumenthal's amendment on April 17, 2013 by a vote of 46 to 54 (Roll Call 103). We have assigned pluses to the nays because banning high-capacity ammunition clips for law-abiding citizens is a clear violation of the Constitution - the Second Amendment guarantees that our "right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 139 to S.Con.Res. 8: To uphold Second Amendment rights and prevent the United States from entering into the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.
Vote Date: March 23, 2013Vote: AYEGood Vote.
UN Arms Trade Treaty. During consideration of the budget resolution (Senate Concurrent Resolution 8), Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) offered an amendment to "uphold Second Amendment rights and prevent the United States from entering into the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty." As firearms researcher John Lott pointed out in "Buyers, beware: UN Arms Trade Treaty will regulate individual gun ownership," posted on FoxNews.com: "Unsurprisingly, the U.N. treaty provisions are the long-time favorites of American gun control advocates: registration and licensing of guns and ammunition, along with restrictions on the private gun transfers." Although Inhofe's amendment is non-binding, it provides encouragement that if and when the UN Arms Trade Treaty is brought to the Senate floor for a vote, there will not be the necessary two-thirds majority required for ratification.

The Senate adopted Inhofe's amendment on March 23, 2013 by a vote of 53 to 46 (Roll Call 91). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because a UN treaty that infringes on the Second Amendment of the Constitution should not be ratified.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 494 to S.Con.Res. 8: To establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to promote investment and job growth in United States manufacturing, oil and gas production, and refining sectors through the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Vote Date: March 22, 2013Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Keystone XL Pipeline. During consideration of the budget resolution (Senate Concurrent Resolution 8), Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) offered an amendment that would "establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to promote investment and job growth in United States manufacturing, oil and gas production, and refining sectors through the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline."

According to a Reuters story posted online on March 22, 2013, "The Senate easily passed on Friday a symbolic measure approving the Canada to Texas Keystone XL oil pipeline, a move backers said showed strong support for a bill that would give Congress power to green light the project later in the year.... It was symbolic because the budget is a blueprint that will not become law."

(See House Vote below for information on similar legislation.)

[[ H.R. 3 would declare that "no Presidential permit shall be required for the pipeline described in the application filed on May 4, 2012, by TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, L.P.," which includes the Nebraska reroute that was evaluated and approved in early 2013. This bill would also deem that the Keystone project has already satisfied all requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and of the National Historic Preservation Act.

According to a Reuters story posted online on May 22, 2013, "The project has been hailed by the energy industry as part of the U.S. push toward energy independence. It is also supported by many unions because it would provide thousands of construction jobs. Environmentalists have vociferously opposed the pipeline, saying it would raise greenhouse gas levels and lock the United States into long-term dependence on fossil fuels." ]]

The Senate adopted Hoeven's amendment on March 22, 2013 by a vote of 62 to 37 (Roll Call 61). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because the federal government should allow entrepreneurs to develop energy resources, rather than deny access.



On the Amendment S.Amdt. 263 to S.Con.Res. 8: In the nature of a substitute.
Vote Date: March 22, 2013Vote: AYEGood Vote.
Balanced Budget Resolution. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) offered a substitute amendment with a replacement budget (Amendment 263) to the budget resolution (Senate Concurrent Resolution 8). The amendment called for a balanced budget in five years with no revenue increases. As Paul said, "This budget is called the Revitalize America Budget. It reforms and saves Social Security and Medicare, making them solvent for 75 years; it creates millions of jobs by letting taxpayers keep an additional $600 billion of their income; it repeals ObamaCare; and it requires Congress to vote to approve or disapprove all major regulations. Our ever-expanding debt is costing us millions of jobs a year. It is time to stop burying our kids in debt."

Paul's proposed budget would also have eliminated the Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Education, and Energy departments. A tax code overhaul that would eliminate the estate and capital gains taxes and switch to a flat tax system was also included.

The Senate rejected Paul's substitute amendment on March 22, 2013 by a vote of 18 to 81 (Roll Call 69). We have assigned pluses to the yeas because any reduction of unconstitutional federal agencies and massive amounts of debt-laden, unconstitutional federal spending, without revenue increases, is desirable.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 325: A bill to ensure the complete and timely payment of the obligations of the United States Government until May 19, 2013, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: January 31, 2013Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Short-term Debt Limit Increase. This bill (H.R. 325), voted on in January 2013, would suspend the public debt limit through May 18, 2013 and in effect allow the Treasury Department to borrow as much as it needs in order to pay its bills over the next four months: February, March, April, and May. Another provision in the bill would withhold pay for representatives or senators if either house fails to approve a budget by April 15. The pay would be withheld for each member of Congress until his or her house agrees to a concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal 2014 or until the last day of the 113th Congress.

The Senate passed H.R. 325 on January 31, 2013 by a vote of 64 to 34 (Roll Call 11). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the federal government should live within its means and because most of the spending responsible for the ballooning national debt is unconstitutional.



On Passage of the Bill H.R. 152: A bill making supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013, and for other purposes.
Vote Date: January 28, 2013Vote: NAYGood Vote.
Disaster Supplemental (Superstorm Sandy). This bill (H.R. 152) would appropriate $50.5 billion in emergency supplemental funding for communities hit by Superstorm Sandy. According to Congressional Quarterly, "The bill would include $11.5 billion for FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund, $10.9 billion for transit systems, $16 billion for Department of Housing and Urban Development community development programs, $5.4 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers, $708 million for repairs to national parks, wildlife refuges and facilities, $234 million for Veterans Affairs medical activities and construction projects, $274 million for Coast Guard projects, and $520 million for Small Business Administration disaster loans."

The Senate passed H.R. 152 on January 28, 2013 by a vote of 62 to 36 (Roll Call 4). We have assigned pluses to the nays because federally financing disaster relief is unconstitutional.