Greg Nash

Since becoming the first major potential Republican presidential candidate to officially announce his candidacy on Monday, freshman Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has been criticized as too inexperienced to seek the White House. 

The conservative Wall Street Journal editorial board compared Cruz to President Obama, writing that each first-term senator was someone “who lacks executive experience.”

{mosads}Cruz has kicked back at that criticism, calling Obama a “backbencher.” The Texan argues that his legislative record is beefier than is being reported and says he’s been an influential leader in derailing Democratic initiatives.

Quorum, a legislative data analytics company, analyzed Cruz’s legislative record for The Hill, as well as some other aspects from his time in Washington. Below is a look at his legislative record, floor speeches and more by the numbers.  

Bills passed

Cruz has sponsored only one bill that was passed by the House and Senate and signed into law by President Obama.

In April 2014, Cruz introduced legislation to prevent representatives to the United Nations who are believed to be spies or terrorists from entering the country. It was approved unanimously by the House and Senate, and signed into law only weeks after having been introduced. 

The legislation was provoked by Iran’s pick of Hamid Aboutalebi to act as ambassador to the U.S. In the late 1970s, Aboutalebi was a member of a group that seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and held dozens of Americans hostage for more than a year.

In an interview with Fox News’s Megyn Kelly on Tuesday, Cruz trumpeted the passage of his bill as evidence he can pull together a bipartisan coalition when he needs to.

While it’s just one bill, Cruz is no outlier here. Only four Republican Senators in the 113th Congress had more than one bill signed into law, and another 16, like Cruz, had just a singular bill signed into law. 

Bills introduced 

In the 113th Congress, Cruz introduced 25 bills, and he’s put forth another 10 so far in the current session. The 25 he introduced last session put him near the middle of the pack of Senate Republicans. He ranked 18th out of the 45 Republicans in the last Senate for most bills introduced.

Of the 25 bills Cruz introduced in the 113th Congress, only two made it through the Senate. However, only three Republican Senators in the last Congress got more than two bills through the upper chamber, making Cruz the fourth most successful in his party. 

Cruz highlighted this point in his Tuesday interview with Kelly.

“As a freshman senator, I had more legislation pass the Senate then all but a handful of Republicans,” he said.

It was only two bills, but his statement was accurate.

In addition to the bill that was signed into the law, the Senate passed a Cruz bill requiring the secretary of State to offer rewards totaling up to $5,000,000 for information on the kidnapping and murder of Naftali Fraenkel, a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen. 

The Texas Republican has had some success moving his bills through committee. According to Quorum, 8 percent of Cruz’s bills made it out of committee in the 113th Congress, ranking him 11th among Senate Republicans.

The bulk of Cruz’s bills have focused on crime and law enforcement, civil rights and liberties, and international affairs, according to the Quorum analysis.

Toeing the party line? 

Unsurprisingly, Cruz has a history of breaking with GOP leadership on votes, although it’s not as extreme as one might suppose. 

In 684 votes spanning his entire time in the Senate, Cruz has bucked party leadership 73 times. His 82.8 percent rate of voting with the party in the 113th Congress ranks him 29th out of 45 Republicans.

Cruz’s favorite legislative partner in the Senate is another Tea Party conservative: Utah Sen. Mike Lee. The two have co-sponsored 14 bills together, with fellow Texan, Senate GOP Whip John Cornyn, who comes in a close second, at 13.

Cruz has also worked closely with two other potential GOP contenders in the upper chamber: Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Rand Paul (Ky.). Cruz has signed on to 11 of Rubio’s bills, and nine of Paul’s.


Only two of the 68 amendments Cruz has offered have been adopted, but that’s not an uncommonly low success rate. The 65 amendments Cruz put forth in the 113th Congress ranks him 12th in his party and 13th overall. 

Floor Statements

Cruz has given 217 speeches on the floor of the Senate. The Quorum algorithm qualifies an address as a speech if it exceeds 300 characters. The last four speeches Cruz gave on the Senate floor came in January in support of a bill to authorize the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, which would run through his home state.

The 213 floor speeches Cruz gave over the course of the 113th Congress ranked him as the fifth most active Senate floor speaker, and it’s here that Cruz has distinguished himself. 

Perhaps most memorably, Cruz spoke on the floor of the Senate for 21 hours during the 2013 showdown over ObamaCare that ultimately led to a 17-day government shutdown.

Cruz has trumpeted his high-profile opposition to Democratic initiatives in Congress, which he says plays as big a role in determining the direction of the government as passing legislation does.

“What we’ve accomplished over and over again in many instances is stopping bad things from happening,” Cruz said Tuesday. 

Days in office

Cruz has served as senator of Texas for 813 days. His first term doesn’t end for another 1,378 days.  The U.S. presidential election is 592 days away.  

Social media 

Cruz’s Senate Twitter account has more than 400,000 Twitter followers, and his newly created presidential candidate account is fast approaching that number.

Cruz’s Senate account averages 470 retweets per tweet — the highest among all senators by far. The average member gets only 161 re-tweets per tweet, according to Quorum. 

Cruz also leads all senators with the number of favorites per tweet, averaging 161.

Cruz’s favorite hashtags all have to do with repealing ObamaCare. He’s deployed #MakeDCListen 273 times, #DefundObamaCare 264 times, #FullRepeal 149 times, and #DontFundIt 129 times. 

Ted Cruz by the Numbers

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