Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill Introduced With Huge GOP Support

Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) have introduced the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.

Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) have introduced the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act in the U.S. Senate today.

In a joint press release issued earlier today, the two senators announced the bill to allow “individuals with concealed carry privileges in their home state to exercise those rights in any other state with concealed carry laws, while abiding by that state’s laws.”

“This bill focuses on two of our country’s most fundamental constitutional protections– the Second Amendment’s right of citizens to keep and bear arms and the Tenth Amendment’s right of states to make laws best-suited for their residents,” said Sen. Cornyn. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this important legislation for law-abiding gun owners nationwide.”

What is interesting about this press release is the long list of Republican co-sponsors, which wasn’t the case before. They include the following U.S. Senators: John Barrasso (R-WY), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Mike Braun (R-IN), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), John Hoeven (R-ND), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Ron Johnson (R-WI), John Kennedy (R-LA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), David Perdue (R-GA), Rob Portman (R-OH), Jim Risch (R-ID), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), John Thune (R-SD), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).

It’s no surprise there aren’t Democrats co-sponsors.

The press release expands on what this legislation would set out to accomplish (key points are bolded):

Protecting Fundamental Constitutional Rights:

  • Allows law-abiding citizens to exercise their fundamental right to self-defense while they are traveling or temporarily living away from home.
  • Allows individuals with concealed carry privileges in their home state to conceal carry in any other states that also allow concealed carry.
  • Treats state-issued concealed carry permits like drivers’ licenses where an individual can use their home-state license to drive in another state, but must abide by that other state’s speed limit or road laws.

Respecting State Sovereignty*:*

  • Does not establish national standards for concealed carry.
  • Does not provide for a national concealed carry permit.
  • Does not allow a resident to circumvent their home state’s concealed carry permit laws. If under current law an individual is prohibited by federal law from carrying a firearm, they will continue to be prohibited from doing so under our bill.
  • Respects state laws concerning specific types of locations in which firearms may not be carried and types of firearms which may not be carried by the visiting individual.
  • Protects states’ rights by not mandating the right to concealed carry in places that do not allow the practice.

A Senate bill was previously introduced last Congressional session as with one in the House. Sadly, this bill won’t pass out of the House of Representatives given the Democrat control of that chamber during the new 116th Congressional session.

We’ll continue to monitor its progress here at The Resurgent.

Cuomo vs. Cruz: And the Winner Is…

Say what you will about CNN, they’re certainly gluttons for punishment. After their media correspondent Brian Stelter got schooled by Ted Cruz yesterday for saying that the Texas senator was afraid to appear on the network to defend his views on gun control, you would think that they would think twice about poking that particular hornet’s nest again. Sadly, CNN anchorman Chris Cuomo must’ve missed the memo, as the New Day host tweeted his own taunt–and sealed his own fate–in what could be charitably described as an exercise in extremely bad timing:
https://twitter.com/ChrisCuomo/status/964269092113911809
Wow, Cuomo must’ve been feeling pretty good about himself after that! I can almost picture all the high fives and back slaps as he swaggered though the newsroom, winking at the ladies and telling all the guys, “How ya like me now?” Alas, it couldn’t have lasted long, as Cruz–ever at the ready with a rejoinder–turned the smack back on Cuomo with a zinger of his own:
https://twitter.com/tedcruz/status/964525103320059905
Hey, look at that! Cruz even brought proof!
https://twitter.com/tedcruz/status/964550355995553792
Oof! That’s a rat-a-tat punch to the ribs followed by a haymaker right upside the head. No TKO here, folks. By my view, Cuomo’s flat on the mat seeing birdies.
Next time, he might want to have a chat with his producer before talking trash about my boy Ted.

Cruz v. Sanders on Healthcare

In Round II of Senator Ted Cruz versus Senator Bernie Sanders, the former presidential candidates debated tax policy.

During last night’s CNN debate on taxes, which pitted Republican senators Tim Scott and Ted Cruz against Democrat senators Bernie Sanders and Maria Cantwell, the former were more prepared and sharp on the discussion of taxes compared to the latter.

Senators Cruz and Sanders previously clashed during a CNN debate on Obamacare this past February, which actually proved to be very substantive. This go-around, the Texas Senator launched a Cruz missile nuking Sanders’ claim that millionaires and billionaires don’t pay enough in taxes —to which Cruz responded that there aren’t enough millionaires and billionaires to cover socialistic policies if they are implemented. Cruz, a son of a Cuban political refuge, apparently got on avowed socialist Sanders’ nerves when he probed the Vermont senator’s position.

Watch the exchange below:

This wasn’t the only zinger from last night’s debate. Cruz pressed his colleague from Washington State on what the difference between Democrats and socialists is with respect to taxes, which she took serious offense to. Cantwell called Cruz’s comments on Democrats “divisive.” Below is the full exchange:

TED CRUZ: Now, Bernie and I have done three of these debates. I like debating Bernie because he’s honest, he’s candid. He is a socialist. He admits he’s a socialist. He wants to raise everyone’s taxes. And so, Maria, I’d like to actually ask you a question that I asked Bernie last time, which is — since this is a tax debate, what is the difference between a Democrat and a socialist on taxes? CANTWELL: Well, you know, Ted, I really thought about this issue of you trying to divide the Democrats. But, you know, we’re a big-tent party. And there’s room for Bernie and there’s room for me. The difference is you guys keep trying to isolate your party. It used to be there was everywhere from Susan Collins to Jeff Sessions. But instead, you guys took on people like Dick Lugar. And guess what? We got Joe Donnelly. And then you put somebody out there in Missouri, and we got Claire McCaskill. So you keep narrowing your tent, and I’m fine with our big tent. And so the issue here — and I have two small-business people here from Seattle, a millennial, Michael, who’s asked me what are we doing about the housing crisis, am I ever going to get out of my parents’ basement and own my own home? And he’s working hard in a sector that this bill is making harder for him to make his company competitive. And so the issue here — and I have two small-business people here from Seattle, a millennial, Michael, who’s asked me what are we doing about the housing crisis, am I ever going to get out of my parents’ basement and own my own home? And he’s working hard in a sector that this bill is making harder for him to make his company competitive. And another businessman, Joe, who says what are you doing to our economy if you’re giving the big corporations a huge tax break and you’re only giving us a smaller tax break? He’s the job creator. He created jobs in the downturn of our economy and did so successfully. I want to make sure they are getting a fair deal.

Senator Cruz continues to display policy prowess throughout these exchanges. Perhaps more Republican senators could learn from him.

‘Shut up and do your job’: Ted Cruz got it half right about Flake

Watch this video from CNN. At the 4:20 mark, you’ll hear Ted Cruz on the Mark Davis radio show, with his response to Jeff Flake and Bob Corker, who have suddenly tried to put on their conservative clothes. Sort of like when a 50 year-old gets his old football letter jacket out and tries to wear it, 30 pounds later.

We’ve got a job to do, dammit. And so all of this nonsense–I’ve got nothing to say on it. Everyone shut up and do your job.

They are fools who think a good, rousing speech against Trump will somehow absolve them of abandoning the conservative principles that got them elected, and then quitting when they’re about to be unseated.

Maybe Flake will get a job offer from CNN when he leaves the Senate. But some senators, like Cruz, think it’s more important to stick around and finish what they were elected to do. Of which, by the way, they’ve done very little.

The only people calling for Flake to stay in the Senate are liberals like Ezra Klein.

Instead of achieving his fantasy, and the fantasies of Hollywood liberal movie producers, where the “Mr. Smith goes to Washington” speech stirs up a movement to patriotic fervor, and President Trump suddenly becomes a model civics lesson, Flake made a jackass of himself by making a speech without having the standing to give it properly.

He attacked the president (and yes, that part was somewhat right but useless) and did it in the worst possible, most ineffective, most self-damaging way. He publicly quit like a 15-year-old walking out of Taco Bell because the manager bullied him.

Ted Cruz was right to get in Flake’s (and Corker’s) face. But he only got it half right. Instead of “shut up and do your job” he should have said “shut up and go away,” because quitters are unreliable, and senators who deceive themselves into believing they are something they’re not are fools.

Cruz: Tax Reform May Be Delayed Until Next Year

 

After the disappointment on Obamacare, Republicans looked to tax reform to score an elusive legislative victory. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) set a goal for passing the tax reform bill by the end of the year, but Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is casting doubt on that timetable.

On CNBC, Cruz said, “I believe that we will get tax reform done,” but that it will be “late this year or early next year.”

There are big obstacles in the way. FiveThirtyEight explained that there was one major division among Republicans on healthcare, while there are at least three different GOP divisions on tax reform. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who has been under attack by President Trump in recent weeks, leads a faction of deficit hawks who insist that tax reform not add to the deficit.

There is the question of whether to make the tax cuts permanent or temporary. Under reconciliation rules, the bill cannot increase the deficit after 10 years. One way of preventing the CBO from scoring the bill as increasing the deficit is to make the cuts temporary. Temporary tax cuts can lead to a fiscal cliff like the one Congress faced under President Obama.

A third question is who gets the tax cuts. Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) have indicated that the current plan does not cut taxes enough on the middle class. In particular, Paul said that the bill “should not be a tax hike on anyone.” But if tax cuts are increased for one group, the questions of deficit scoring and whether they are to be permanent are raised once again.

The question of whether to end the federal tax deduction for state income taxes has been particularly thorny. Cruz said, “We can end that deduction if we’re lowering the tax rate enough that even people in those blue states are seeing a net tax reduction.”

“I do think virtually every Republican wants to get to yes,” Cruz said, but noted that the slim Republican majority in the Senate made passing any major bill difficult.

“We have an excruciatingly narrow majority, 52 Republicans” Cruz said. “That means if any three Republicans jump ship, we’re toast. Wrangling together 50 out of 52 Republicans with this very diverse, fractious conference is not easy.”

There are already four Republicans who have been identified as potential mavericks on the bill. Bob Corker, who is concerned about the effect on the deficit, as well as John McCain (R-Ariz.) and perennial swing votes Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) will be senators to watch.

The new Alabama senator may present a problem as well. Even if Republican Roy Moore wins the senate race there, Moore is an avowed opponent of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and is unlikely to be a reliable vote. Moore’s position on the tax bill is uncertain, but he had opposed the Republican Obamacare reform bill.

Passing tax reform may be critical for Republicans in the 2018 midterms. Cruz acknowledged that “people are frustrated” because the Republican congressional majority is “not getting the job done.” With former White House strategist Steve Bannon leading a right-wing revolt against incumbent Republican senators, failure to win a victory on taxes could have dire consequences for the party.

Steve Bannon Declares War On Republicans

With a call for one sitting Republican senator to resign and announcement that he plans to back primary challengers for nearly every sitting Republican in the Senate, Steve Bannon, former White House strategist and past and present chairman of Breitbart News, has effectively declared war on the Republican Party. While ostensibly still backing President Trump, Bannon’s effort also includes challengers to some Trump allies.

Bannon’s primary target at the moment is Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.). After Corker and Trump engaged in a flame war on Twitter over the weekend, Bannon called for the Tennessean to resign for his disloyalty to President Trump. In a tweet, Corker, who is not running for re-election,  likened the White House to a “day care center” and said in a New York Times interview that President Trump acted “like he’s doing ‘The Apprentice’ or something” and that his lack of diplomatic skills could put the world “on the path to World War III.”

“If Bob Corker has any honor, any decency, he should resign immediately,” Bannon told Sean Hannity on Fox News.

“This is what they think about President Trump behind closed doors,” Bannon added. “He happened to tell The New York Times exactly what he thought, it’s totally unacceptable. In a time of war, we have troops in Afghanistan, in the Northwest pacific and Korea. We have a major problem that could be like World War I in the South China Sea. In the Persian Gulf, we have American lives at risk every day.”

That Bannon equates Corker’s comments with all Republican incumbents provides insight into why he plans to try to unseat practically every Republican senator. The Washington Post notes that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is reportedly the only senator who will not be fending off a Bannon-backed challenger, but a CNN source said, “Nobody’s safe.” Cruz was a favorite of Bannon’s Breitbart until Donald Trump usurped that role. Cruz angered many Trump supporters with his long-delayed endorsement of Donald Trump and his heated exchanges with Trump in the primary.

Breitbart quotes Andy Surabian, a senior adviser to the Great America Alliance and ex-White House aide, who said, “We’re planning on building a broad anti-establishment coalition to replace the Republican Party of old with fresh new blood and fresh new ideas.” The site notes that the Great America Alliance is a “pro-Trump Super PAC.”

The Breitbart article also quotes Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, who said, “The conservative tidal wave that carried Donald Trump into the White House may soon be eclipsed by what appears to be a conservative tsunami that threatens the [Republican] establishment death grip on the U.S. Senate.”

Much of the antipathy to the “establishment” Republicans seems to stem from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) refusal to end the filibuster and change Senate rules to allow passage of bills with a simple majority, commonly referred to as the “nuclear option.” President Trump urged McConnell to change Senate rules in a tweet in August. Mr. McConnell told Politico in April, “There’s not a single senator in the majority who thinks we ought to change the legislative filibuster. Not one.”

Surabian hinted at the “nuclear option” when he noted, “The group of candidates we are looking to support in 2018 are all bound together in their agreement that the new Republican Party must be bold in their thinking and aggressive in their tactics.”

Bannon’s tactics have potential downsides. If his candidates defeat Republican incumbents in the primary, they still must win the general election. This could present a problem for some Bannon-backed candidates, particularly in moderate states. President Trump alluded to this risk in deep red Alabama when he campaigned for incumbent Luther Strange (R-Ala.) against primary challenger Roy Moore, who was supported by Bannon. With a slim majority of only two seats, Bannon’s war against Republican incumbents could tip the Senate to the Democrats.

A second problem is that, if Bannon’s plan succeeds and the filibuster is killed permanently, Democrats would have the same advantages the next time they are in power. President Trump’s agenda could be passed more easily without the cloture rule, but it would also be easier for the next Democrat majority to repeal Trump’s reforms and enact their own leftist agenda.

Bannon’s frontal assault on sitting Republicans brings the GOP civil war into the open. Trump supporters like Bannon are attempting to purge the party of traditional Republicans who represent the “establishment,” regardless of voting records or conservative credentials. CNN notes that even John Barasso (R-Wy.), typically considered a Trump ally, is a target of Bannon’s effort.

It is normally very difficult to unseat incumbents, but 2018 may be different. There may be additional retirements that leave open seats vulnerable to Bannon’s candidates. Further, polling shows that President Trump is far more popular among Republicans than congressional leaders. If Republican voters back primary challengers supported by Bannon and President Trump over party incumbents, it will signal a permanent shift in the direction of the Republican Party.

Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum Try to Challenge Ted Cruz




Remember that scene in Iowa? Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum headed off to an event with Donald Trump after failing to get traction. Both thought Iowa was theirs having seized on Christian conservative sentiment in 2008 and 2012? Now, with Ted Cruz taking all the oxygen away from them they were bitter and, plotting with the establishment, out to get Cruz. They showed up at a Donald Trump rally where they did the “kneel before Zod” routine while attacking Cruz.

They are still at it, having never forgiven Ted Cruz for beating them in Iowa. Their latest ploy is to get an establishment challenger against Cruz who will pretend to be to Cruz’s right.

Bruce Jacobson, the executive producer of a Christian cable television show called called Life Today TV, has been quietly weighing a run against Cruz, according to a spokeswoman for the group Texans for Texas.

Jacobson has not returned phone calls from The Dallas Morning News, but a decision to launch his campaign could come within days. The filing period for the March primaries starts in November.

Texans for Texas, a super PAC that’s been around for about a year, is having a fundraiser Monday in North Richland Hills, where Jacobson lives. He’s listed as the event’s special guest.

According to Federal Election Commission reports, the group has raised $25,000 for the 2018 elections.…

Jacobson, who is well-known among Christian conservatives, could court support from former presidential contenders such as former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Apparently, Jacobson isn’t even a principled conservative like Cruz. He’s just a Huckabee sort of clone who talks Jesus while being okay with growing the secular state. And notice that last paragraph. There are some people wondering what the actual relationship is there. I’m told pretty reliably that Huckabee is pushing this and Santorum is probably connected. That paragraph about getting their support was not a random, throw away paragraph.

Cruz already has one establishment hack coming after him from the left within the GOP primary. The guy is a lawyer who claims Cruz isn’t playing well with Mitch McConnell. Now we’re going to get this guy pretending to come at Cruz from the right. The media will love both so they can attack Cruz from all sides. But if I were Cruz, I’d be looking around thinking I’ve got attacks from left and from pretend right, so I must be doing something actually right.

By the way, don’t think the timing here is coincidental. Steve Bannon came out yesterday and said Cruz would be the one GOP Senator who does not get challenged in 2018 in the primaries. Huckabee probably wants to assert his supposed power and influence, not that he really has much.

Cruz: VA Must Expand Options For Veterans

Texas Senator Ted Cruz partnered last week with Concerned Veterans for America executive director Mark Lucas to pen the editorial “Congress must expand health care choices for veterans” for the Houston Chronicle.

The editorial begins with the story of a woman named Linda, whose husband died as a result of Veterans Administration failure. It goes on to suggest two ideas that Cruz and Lucas say “can turn the tide at the VA and provide positive impact: increasing accountability and giving our veterans more choice and control over the health care benefits they’ve earned.”

The recently-passed VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act made strong inroads toward reaching the first of those goals.

“Unlike previous legislative ‘fixes’ designed to improve the VA, this law has real teeth. It gives VA Secretary David Shulkin greater authority to get rid of unsatisfactory employees and reduces the time it takes to do so. Even better, these former employees will no longer be paid with taxpayer dollars as they undergo the termination process. The measure also allows the secretary to recoup bonuses awarded to employees who engaged in misconduct, affording greater protections to whistleblowers who expose wrongdoing.”

Cruz and Lucas also point out that the Veteran Choice Program has left many vets hamstrung in their efforts to receive care, particularly in its requirement that veterans seek help exclusively at a VA facility if there is one within 40 miles of their home that can see them within 30 days.

The pair further propose that information technology used by the VA be modernized in order to help the organization more effectively provide care.

“Sen. Cruz has sponsored a bill to address this issue by requiring the appointment of a chief information officer at the VHA, equipped to implement and manage a state-of-the-art IT system fully integrated with VHA clinics and medical centers. This straightforward, simple solution will improve health care outcomes and help remedy the long wait times that have compromised the health and safety of our veterans.”

But perhaps the biggest change proposed by Cruz and Lucas is to implement a new administrative process for the VA provider system, in an effort to expand veterans’ choices about “when and where to seek care”.

“As Concerned Veterans for America outlined in its bipartisan report, Fixing Veterans Health Care Taskforce, a government-chartered nonprofit or accountable care organization should administer the VA’s current provider system and allow for the creation of a veterans insurance program to offer veterans the ability to access care in the private sector with their VA benefits in a way similar to how most federal employees get coverage through the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program.”

As with Cruz’ previous proposals concerning ACA replacement, the intent of the proposed changes is to put patients in charge of their own healthcare rather than forcing them to rely on government-based care providers.

“Veterans should be able to access state-of-the-art care at any time, close to home with the benefits they’ve earned. And it is our hope that by bringing accountability to the VA and empowering veterans with health care choice, no veteran will ever have to go through what Linda and her husband experienced.”

Those who have willingly chosen to put their lives on the line – and their families – deserve nothing less.