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Cruz predicts 'tidal wave' of lawsuits against reopening small businesses without legislation

Cruz predicts 'tidal wave' of lawsuits against reopening small businesses without legislation
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCheney drama exposes GOP's Trump rifts Pollster Frank Luntz: 'I would bet on' Trump being 2024 GOP nominee Tim Scott sparks buzz in crowded field of White House hopefuls MORE (R-Texas) on Wednesday predicted that a “tidal wave” of lawsuits against reopening small businesses would flood the courts if there is no liability protection legislation passed by Congress. 

The Texas senator told “The Hugh Hewitt Show” that he agreed with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell: Taliban could take over Afghanistan by 'the end of the year' McConnell alma mater criticizes him for 1619 comments McConnell amid Trump criticism: 'I'm looking forward, not backward' MORE (R-Ky.) that liability protection for small businesses that are reopening after the pandemic is necessary. 

“If we do nothing, there will be an onslaught, a tidal wave of lawsuits going after every small business in America for opening up and risking COVID-19,” he said. “That’s not an acceptable course of action.”

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Cruz said he expects Democratic lawmakers to “protect trial lawyers” by excluding the liability protection because they are funders of the party. He said Democrats’ priority during the pandemic has been political to “take care of their partisan wish list.”

“And so I fully expect that [Senate Minority Leader] Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerHow to fast-track climate action? EPA cutting super pollutant HFCs On The Money: How demand is outstripping supply and hampering recovery | Montana pulls back jobless benefits | Yellen says higher rates may be necessary Senate Democrats announce B clean bus plan MORE (D-N.Y.) and [Speaker] Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Weekly jobless claims fall to 498K, hitting new post-lockdown low | House to advance appropriations bills in June, July Rural Democrats urge protections from tax increases for family farms Cheney fight stokes cries of GOP double standard for women MORE (D-Calif.) will go to the barricades to protect the ability of the trial lawyers to sue everyone and try to extract billions from the system,” he said. “I don’t know how that will shake out.”

But the Texas Republican said his priority is to “get America back to work” and prevent the country from falling “into another great depression.”

“We need to keep people safe, follow sound science, follow the medicine, but also get people back to work so that we can harness the power of the American free enterprise system to bring this economy back with the same roaring force we had three months ago,” he said.

McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyLoyalty trumps policy in Stefanik's rise, Cheney's fall Cheney drama exposes GOP's Trump rifts Likely Cheney successor appears on Bannon show to tout GOP unity MORE (R-Calif.) have signaled that they would not back a fifth coronavirus bill if it didn’t include liability protections for businesses. 

Businesses are pushing the White House and Congress to shield firms from lawsuits as they reopen after the pandemic, although Democrats, labor unions and trial attorneys have said they disagreed, saying McConnell is prioritizing corporations over people.