AUSTIN (January 3, 2013)--Tea party favorite Ted Cruz was sworn in Thursday as the first Hispanic to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate.
The Cuban-American, who’s the state’s former solicitor general, is more fiercely conservative than the woman he is replacing, fellow Republican U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Dallas.
A Houston attorney and former Ivy League debating champion, Cruz was virtually unknown when he announced his candidacy for Hutchison’s seat, but he used strong grassroots support to upset Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in a July runoff election for the GOP senatorial nomination.
Cruz then trounced Democrat and former state Rep. Paul Sadler in November's general election.
He pledged that his first bill would seek to repeal "every syllable of every word" of the Obama administration's health care reform law.
Cruz said he will keep that promise, even though he knows Senate Democrats and President Barack Obama will ensure his bill won't become law.
He could be poised to become a rising star among Capitol Hill conservatives, especially given the retirement of tea party leader U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina.
Three Central Texas Congressman were also sworn into office Thursday.
Freshman Republican Roger Williams was among the new members of the U.S. House taking the oath of office.
He was elected in November to represent a new district that includes part of Bell County and Bosque, Coryell, Hill, and Lampasas Counties.
U.S. Rep. Bill Flores, R-Bryan, was sworn in to a second term Thursday.
His district includes McLennan, Limestone, Freestone, Falls and Milam Counties and part of Leon County.
“It is an honor to be able to represent the citizens of the 17th Congressional District of Texas in the 113th Congress,” Flores said. “I look forward to working with my fellow colleagues as we set forth an agenda that includes pro-growth tax reforms; ‘Main Street’ job solutions; reduced size, cost and intrusiveness of the federal government; entitlement program reforms; and an ‘all-of-the-above’ strategy for unlocking American energy production,’ he said.
U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, whose district includes Bell… was sworn in to a sixth term Thursday.
He will chair the Homeland Security Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee.
“I am resolved to build a consensus for bipartisan solutions that can become law in a divided government,” he said, “and I look forward to working with members of the committee from both parties to achieve this goal.”