The House is set to vote again on Wednesday on a modified tax bill that has been stripped of several provisions, including part of an amendment proposed by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) that would give a tax subsidy to families who homeschool their children. In a late maneuver, Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) successfully argued that the provision could not pass with a simple majority. The amendment called for an expansion of tax-exempt college savings accounts - known as 529s - to cover up to $10,000 per child per year in tuition or expenses for elementary and secondary education in private schools or for homeschooling.
Senator Ted Cruz joined the Todd Starnes Show today to explain that the provision is still in there, as well as address the possibility of a government shutdown and to discuss the latest on Robert Mueller's investigation. Listen to the full interview below:
Sen. Cruz on the status of homeschool families when it comes to this tax bill:
There's good news and bad news. The good news is the tax cut as a whole makes an enormous difference for working families, for parents, for small businesses, for farmers, for ranchers, for job creators, for young people all across the country. There's an enormous amount in this tax bill that is cutting taxes and focused on generating jobs and raising wages. There is also a part of this tax bill, the most significant federal school choice legislation that has ever passed, and that is an amendment that I introduced that takes existing college 529 savings plans, 529 savings plans as you know are immensely popular. Right now they allow parents and grandparents to save in a tax advantage savings fund for college expenses, and millions of parents and grandparents all over the country use 529s right now. The amendment I introduced expands 529 savings plans, so in addition to using them for college now you can use them as well for K-12 education. You can use them for public school, for private school, for parochial school, for religious school. It's up to the parents, up to $10,000 per year per child and that passed into law, it actually passed the senate 50/50 evenly divided with the democrats all opposing it, and the Vice President cast the tie breaking vote. That provision all stayed in the bill and is getting ready to become federal law effective January 1. As you noted Todd, unfortunately one component of that amendment the democrats managed to strike late last night which is, I had a component in there that specifically applies to homeschoolers, that allowed homeschoolers to deduct the cost of homeschooling their kids. There are about 1.8 million homeschoolers in America, and growing. But the democrats hate homeschoolers. They hate that anyone gets out of centralized control, and so they filed an objection on procedural grounds and managed to get homeschoolers excluded. I think it was discriminatory, I think it was wrong, but homeschoolers unfortunately the democrats cut out of the legislation. So for 50 million school kids across the country, the provision allowing parents to save for public or private or religious or parochial schools, that's in there. But homeschoolers unfortunately the democrats succeeded in pulling them out, and that's frustrating and maddening, but nonetheless a big victory for kids across the country.
Sen. Cruz on if he thinks there's a possibility of a government shutdown:
I hope not, I don't know. We've got a continuing resolution that expires on December 22nd, expires on Friday, happens to be my birthday. And both houses are working hard to come to an agreement to continue funding the government. It's unclear how that's going to play out. One question is, I think Chuck Schumer and the democrats want to see a government shutdown. I think politically their base, the far left, is so angry at the president, they hate the president and they're demanding democrats resist, oppose, fight, obstruct. We passed historic tax relief last night. Not a single democrat in the house or senate voted for it, which is completely unprecedented. Tax reform has always been bipartisan. There's always been at least a handful of democrats who say 'we want to cut your taxes'. There's not a single one in all of Washington.
Sen. Cruz on Robert Mueller's investigation and if he thinks the FBI tried to stop Trump from being president:
I don't think we should jump to conclusions. I've read the text chains back and forth between the FBI investigators that were part of the Mueller task force and there clearly were some liberal democratic partisans who despise Trump. That much is clear. I don't want to paint with a broad brush and say the entire FBI, there are a great many honorable, principled, courageous law enforcement agents at the FBI and at the Department of Justice so I think it's a mistake to paint with too broad a brush. That being said, I'm very troubled that the team of prosecutors and investigators that Bob Mueller's assembled is filled with people who are rabid democratic partisans who are major donors to democratic politicians. I think that is really scandalous that if a special counsel team is being put together it should be people for whom there is no question of political bias one way or another. It should be people who aren't partisans for republicans or democrats, but people who are impartial law enforcement officers. And I've got to say the more that comes out about the bias and partisan activity of this special counsel team, the more it really makes one question their motivations and what they're doing.