Transcript: Senator Ted Cruz on "Face the Nation," July 26, 2020

Cruz: Pelosi's objectives are "shoveling cash at the problem and shutting America down"
Cruz: Pelosi's objectives are "shoveling cash... 06:24

The following is a transcript of an interview with Texas Senator Ted Cruz that aired Sunday, July 26, 2020, on "Face the Nation."


MARGARET BRENNAN: We now turn to Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Senator, thank you for joining us. Before we get to business, your reflection on John Lewis.

SENATOR TED CRUZ: Well, John Lewis was an extraordinary hero. He was a civil rights icon. When I was newly elected to the Senate, I had the- the privilege of joining John and joining much of the Congressional Black Caucus in flying to South Africa for- for Nelson Mandela's funeral. And- and I was the only senator who attended Mandela's funeral and the entire flight there and the flight back we- we basically sat around John Lewis and listened to his stories of him as a young man, a hero, fighting for civil rights and enduring that horrific beating on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. And I have to say, he was a man who believed in justice, who had incredible courage, and he is an inspiration for many generations to come.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Thank you for that, Senator. I do want to ask you about the business at hand, which, as we know from the White House and from Leader McConnell's office, is this bill they plan to introduce tomorrow to provide another round of aid. You opposed it earlier this week. Are you on board now?

SEN. CRUZ: I- I am not. We have right now two simultaneous national crises. We have a global pandemic. It is serious. It is taking the lives of over 600,000 people. We need to do significantly more to fight the disease. At the same time, we have an absolute economic catastrophe. We have over 44 million Americans have lost their job, and we have got to get America back to work. Unfortunately, I just listened to your interview with Speaker Pelosi, her objectives are focused on neither of those. Her objectives are shoveling cash at the problem and shutting America down. And in particular, you look at the three trillion dollar bill she's trying to push. It's just shoveling money to her friends and not actually solving the problem. Our objective should be Americans want to get back to work. They want to be able to provide for their family. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.

SEN. CRUZ: They want to be- be- be hopeful for the future. And- and unfortunately, MARGARET, I think we're seeing Democrats. We're seeing Democratic governors. We're seeing Democratic mayors who--

MARGARET BRENNAN: But what specifically- but what specifically because in terms of the unemployment benefits, do you object to providing any kind or any amount of federal boosts to unemployment at this point? Because not everyone is choosing to be out of work. 

SEN. CRUZ: The policy that Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats are pushing adds an additional $600 a week of federal money to unemployment. We have the unemployment system, the system we have had--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Right, and McConnell and wants to take it down to 70% of prior wages.

SEN. CRUZ: Except, the problem is, for 68% of people receiving it right now, they are being paid more on unemployment than they made in their job. And I'll tell you, I've spoken to small business owners all over the state of Texas who are trying to reopen and they're calling their- their waiters and waitresses,--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.

SEN. CRUZ: --they're calling their busboys, and they won't come back. And, of course, they won't come back because the federal government is paying them, in some instances, twice as much money to stay home as--

MARGARET BRENNAN: But you're open to a lesser amount?

SEN. CRUZ: I, look, I- what we ought to focus on, instead of just shoveling trillions out the door, we ought to be passing a recovery bill. Now, what's a recovery bill? A recovery bill would be lifting the taxes and the regulations that are hammering small businesses so that people can go back to work. A recovery bill--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Right. 

SEN. CRUZ: --would suspend the payroll tax, which would give it a- a pay raise to everyone in America who's working. That actually gets people back to work.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well as the treasury secretary said this morning that you could have five, six, seven other bills come in along that include things like a payroll tax but this time, unemployment in particular is something that he said needs to be extended. And- and according to our latest CBS poll, it's very popular. 74% of Republicans approve more stimulus and added benefits. 92% of Democrats. 82% of independents. So Republicans do have the burden of governing right now. 

SEN. CRUZ: Absolutely--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Why aren't you onboard with this?

SEN. CRUZ: I am on board with restarting the economy. What- what Democrats want to do- we're 100 days out from the presidential elec- election. The only objective Democrats have is to defeat Donald Trump, and they've cynically decided the best way to defeat Donald Trump is shut down every business in America, shut down every school in America. You know, Nancy Pelosi talks about working men and women. What she's proposing is keeping working men and women from working. And, you know, ironically, what she does have in her bill? She has a big tax cut for millionaires and billionaires in blue states. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: I just want to quickly--

SEN. CRUZ: She eliminates-- 

MARGARET BRENNAN: --get to you on- I'm sorry, I just want to quickly get you on China because I'm running out of time here. I know you care passionately about what happened in Houston with shuttering that consulate. What did you learn, and will more consulates be closed?

SEN. CRUZ: Well, they may well be closed. That consulate was closed because it had been engaged- engaged in espionage. It had been engaged in intellectual property theft. They use it as a base for spying in Houston and throughout the Southwest. And for a long time, I- I have made the case that China poses the greatest geopolitical threat to the United States for the next century. In fact, the last time I did this show was from Hong Kong in October. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.

SEN. CRUZ: I traveled there. I met with the protesters. There were two million protesters in the street. And you'll recall, MARGARET, I dressed in all black in solidarity with the protesters that were standing up to Beijing and to communist China. And one of the most, in fact, the most significant foreign policy consequence of this pandemic is people are understanding the threat China poses. And in particular, this virus originated because of communist China's deliberate cover up. They arrested, they silenced the heroic Chinese whistleblowers that tried to stop this at the outset.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.

SEN. CRUZ: And because of that, over 600,000 people are dead, because the Chinese communist government lied. And MARGARET, you know, last year when I said that--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Senator,--

SEN. CRUZ: --I didn't have a lot of allies in Washington, both Republicans and Democrats--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah, you didn't have the White House on board with you then. They are now.

SEN. CRUZ: They- they are now.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.

SEN. CRUZ: People have woken up on both sides of the aisle to just how dangerous communist China is and their lies are taking away people's lives.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Senator, we have to leave it there. Thank you for joining us. FACE THE NATION will be right back.