Appearing at a policy summit for the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) expressed his dissatisfaction for the 17th Amendment to the Constitution which allows for the direct election of U.S. senators. Cruz said that the amendment had counterintuitively reduced senators’ accountability to the public. He added, by way of analogy, “if you have the ability to hire and fire me, I’m a lot less likely to break into your house and steal your television.”
“Prior to the 17th Amendment, the state legislatures’ ability and authority to select senators was a powerful check on the federal government coming and intruding on the prerogatives of the state,” Cruz said on Thursday. “Because if you have the ability to hire and fire me, I’m a lot less likely to break into your house and steal your television.”
“So, there’s no doubt that was a major step toward the explosion of federal power and the undermining of the authority of the states at the local level,” he concluded.
ALEC supports proposals for the “soft repeal” of the constitutional amendment ratified in 1913. Cruz did not express his support for the measure, but his attack on the direct election of senators suggests he is friendly to similar reforms.
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