Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) gave a speech Monday morning describing his plans to run for president. Here's a look at where the senator stands on a few important domestic-policy questions.
Cruz is probably best known for his opposition to President Obama's health-care law. He was one of the leaders of an effort to defund the law in 2013, an effort that ultimately shut down the government for 16 days. Cruz wants to repeal the law and to allow people to buy insurance sold in another state, a staple of Republican health-care proposals. Cruz also wants to expand health savings accounts, an approach to insurance that encourages consumers to save money in case they have medical expenses.
Cruz has been outspoken on the issue of net neutrality, the idea that cable companies should provide Internet access to any Web site at the same speed and price. After Obama made a statement supporting strong net neutrality regulations last year, Cruz famously compared net neutrality to the health care law:
"Net Neutrality" is Obamacare for the Internet; the Internet should not operate at the speed of government.
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) November 10, 2014
Last month, the Federal Communications Commission issued forceful new rules on net neutrality, and Republicans in Congress have been working to come up with an alternative approach to regulating the Internet. A spokesman for Cruz has said the senator supports those efforts.
Last week on "Late Night with Seth Meyers," Cruz said the earth is not getting warmer:
Debates on this should follow science and should follow data. Many of the alarmists on global warming, they’ve got a problem because the science doesn’t back them up. In particular, satellite data demonstrate for the last 17 years, there’s been zero warming. None whatsoever.
Although the pace of global warming has slowed, the planet is still getting warmer, and 2014 was the hottest year on record for average temperatures worldwide. What's more, Cruz distorts the data by choosing a 17-year-period as his yardstick, since 1998 was an exceptionally warm year. Focusing on the past 16 years or the past 18 years, the pace of warming has been more dramatic.
In a statement to the Tampa Bay Times, a spokesman for Cruz noted that the senator had recently voted in favor of a resolution stating that climate change is real. The resolution did not specify whether human activity was the cause.
"What Cruz is casting doubt on is the idea that we should make major policy decisions affecting the livelihoods of millions of people in the name of theoretical conclusions that in fact cannot currently be drawn from science or data," the spokesman said.
Along with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Cruz supports legislation that would require the Federal Reserve to "fully open its books," he said earlier this year. Fed chair Janet Yellen has said that the legislation amounts to political meddling in the highly technical task of setting interest rates, which is better left to experts, and that the central bank is already audited. Many economists agree, though some experts argue for limiting the independence of Fed officials in one way or another.
Cruz has proposed legislation and a constitutional amendment allowing each state to define marriage within its borders, which would allow conservative-leaning states to ban gay marriage. (Whether states have this authority now is unclear. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a case on this question next month.)