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 CruzOn The Trail: Pence's knives come out Pat Fallon wins GOP nomination in race to succeed DNI Ratcliffe The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Negotiators 'far apart' as talks yield little ahead of deadline 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 McConnellTrump signs executive orders after coronavirus relief talks falter Coronavirus deal key to Republicans protecting Senate majority Coronavirus talks collapse as negotiators fail to reach deal 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 SchumerWhite House officials, Democrats spar over legality, substance of executive orders Schumer declines to say whether Trump executive orders are legal: They don't 'do the job' Schumer: Idea that 0 unemployment benefit keeps workers away from jobs 'belittles the American people' MORE (D-N.Y.) and [Speaker] Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiWhite House officials, Democrats spar over legality, substance of executive orders Sunday shows - Trump coronavirus executive orders reverberate Pelosi: 'Of course there's room for compromise' on 0-per-week unemployment benefit 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 Owen McCarthySunday shows preview: White House, congressional Democrats unable to breach stalemate over coronavirus relief A trillion stimulus, but Kevin McCarthy for renewable energy — leading businesses want to change that When will telling the truth in politics matter again? 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.