Cruz: U.S. Constitution 'Should Be the Starting Point for Everything Congress Does'

Susan Jones | March 19, 2013 | 11:48am EDT
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Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md. , Saturday, March 16, 2013. (AP File Photo)

( - The U.S. Constitution should form the basis "for just about everything" the Congress does, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told Fox News's Sean Hannity Monday night.  In Cruz's words, "The Constitution should serve as chains to bind the mischief of government."

Cruz was reacting to his recent tangle with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who at a recent Senate hearing, objected to Cruz's question about placing limits on the Second Amendment but not on other amendments.

"You think she was uncomfortable answering (the question)?" Sean Hannity asked Cruz.

"Well, look, I think we should be asking a lot more questions in Congress about the constitutionality for just about everything this body does. You know, I have to say the reaction to that particular line of inquiry -- it reminded me of Nancy Pelosi's reaction when she was asked what's the basis of the Constitution for Obamacare? And her reaction was, 'Are you serious? Are you serious?'

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"For a long time, a whole bunch of Democrats and unfortunately even some Republicans have been passing laws in this body without even asking where the basis is in the Constitution, and I think the Constitution should be the starting point for everything Congress does."

In his discussion with Feinstein, Cruz said he was trying to make the point that Feinstein's gun control bill has lawmakers picking and choosing which firearms it thinks are okay -- and which ones should be banned.

"And so my question is, look -- the identical language about the 'right of the people' is found in the First Amendment, the Second Amendment and Fourth Amendment. Do you think Congress has that same power to pick and choose when it comes to other parts of the bill of rights?"

Cruz said it's the job of Congress to protect the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens, "and I view my job every day as representing 26 million Texans and coming out to the Senate and standing up for the constitution, standing up for the second amendment, and the first amendment, and the entire bill of rights, and our constitution which the framers meant for the constitution, as Thomas Jefferson put it.

The constitution should serve as chains to bind the mischief of government. And the problem, Sean, if you look at President Obama, it seems like he doesn't want to recognize any limits on government power. I think we need to stand for limits on government power and for individual liberty."

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