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March 14, 2013

Sen. Cruz, Obama find common ground

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, seemed pleased after Senate Republicans met Thursday with President Barack Obama.

The freshman senator said he asked Obama "if he agreed that the number one priority of every elected official, both Republican and Democrat, should be restoring economic growth so the many people who are struggling and hurting and out of work across this country could go back to work."

Obama agreed, so Cruz asked whether there were areas they could work together.

"I specified two:  number one, fundamental tax reform that doesn't raise revenues but reduces the burdens of our tax code on small businesses and on individuals; and number two, regulatory reform that likewise reduces the ongoing burdens on small businesses, on job creation, on those struggling to achieve the economic dream," Cruz said.

He liked Obama's response. Here are some of the senator's recollections:

 "On tax reform in particular, the president pointed to corporate tax reforms, and he said he believed there was a lot of agreement between Republicans and Democrats on corporate tax reform, on broadening the base, on lowering the rate so we can be internationally competitive and on remaining revenue-neutral," Cruz said.

"All of that was encouraging because I think those are principles that have wide agreement.  And if we're able to lower our rates -- our country has the highest corporate tax rate of any developed country in the world.  And as a result, over a trillion dollars in capital from U.S. corporations is overseas.  We need to bring that capital back so we can get people back to work.  I was encouraged by his expression of willingness to work in a bipartisan way to get that done.

"On the second issue, of regulatory reform, of reducing the burdens of regulations on job creation, on economic growth, he likewise expressed a willingness to work together with Republicans to focus on cost-benefit analysis, to target in particular existing regulations that impose substantially greater costs than they benefit. And indeed, he suggested the creation of a task force in the Senate to take a look at regulatory burdens and to come up with a proposal of specific regulatory burdens that could be alleviated to improve economic growth and job creation.

"I very much welcome that suggestion, and I look forward to doing everything I can to work productively, for us to roll up our sleeves and get the economy growing again, get the millions of people who are struggling to find jobs back to work again.  And I'm hopefully that this conversation today was a positive step in that direction."

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