Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Monday outlined a list of 10 major policy goals that the Republican Congress should pursue over the next two years, and said Republicans finally have a chance now to contrast themselves against Democrats.
"Let's lead with a big, bold positive agenda that says to the American people, you had a referendum and you rejected the Obama agenda," Cruz told Heritage Action on Monday. "There is a better way."
Cruz said his list may not be possible under President Barack Obama, but warned that failing to try would mean lost elections in the future. "Not only will we not win elections, we'll get walloped, and we'll deserve to get walloped," he said.
Here's Cruz's list:
1) "Embrace a big, positive jobs, growth and opportunity agenda." He said that needs to include not just approval of the Keystone pipeline, but other jobs bills, including easing federal regulations.
2) "We need to do everything humanly possible to repeal Obamacare."
Cruz said Republicans should send Obama a full repeal bill, but then also send small repeal bills to test Obama's willingness on health care and draw a distinction between the two parties.
3) "We need to finally secure the border and stop the president's unconstitutional amnesty."
4) "We need to hold government accountable, and rein in judicial activism." Cruz warned that federal judges continue to rule against state marriage laws, when those issues should be left to the states.
5) "It's time to stop the culture of corruption." Cruz said quick passage of the $1.1 trillion spending bill last year was an example of both parties failing to govern and failing to give Congress itself a chance to understand what was in the bill.
But he said another example is the continued existence of the Export-Import Bank to benefit big companies, and ignoring the needs of smaller companies.
Another, he said, can be seen in how members of Congress can serve virtually for life. "Serving in Congress should not be a lifetime job," he said as he called for term limits.
6) "We need to pass fundamental tax reform, making our tax code simply, flatter, fairer." He said this should include one key plan: "We should abolish the IRS."
7) "We need to audit the Federal Reserve." Cruz said the Fed's loose monetary policy has led to inflation within the country, and said Congress needs a better grasp of what the Fed has been doing for the last several years.
8) "It is long past time for us to pass a strong balanced budget amendment," he said. "What we're doing to our kids and grandkids right now is, in my view, fundamentally irresponsible."
9) "We need to repeal Common Core." Cruz said the federal government needs to stop dictating education policy to the states.
10) "We've got to deal seriously with the twin threats of ISIS and a nuclear Iran."