Not too long after Sen. Ted Cruz took his oath of office, he filed his first bill in the U.S. Senate to roll back "every syllable of every word" of the Affordable Care Act.
The Texas Republican was following through on a campaign slogan that catapulted him from conservative underdog against establishment Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst to Republican Senate nominee. On Jan. 29, 2013, Cruz introduced the ObamaCare Repeal Act. The legislation attracted 41 cosponsors even though, at the time, it stood no chance of passing in a Democratic-controlled Senate.
But the first bill was a message, not meant to be taken lightly by Washington's power players that the junior senator from Texas wasn't planning on waiting for his turn in the spotlight. Instead, Cruz was prepared to position himself as the loudest and most conservative man in Washington, on his way to the campaign trail in 2016.
In the years that followed, Cruz has taken advantage of his power in the Senate to promote a host of conservative causes. Taking on the president's signature health care law was just the beginning. Here are six other places where Cruz has sought to define himself as the Right's answer to 2016.
As the debate about requiring voter ID intensified in the summer of 2013, coinciding with the Supreme Court case that struck down a key component of the Voting Rights Act, Cruz was not shy about where he stood. During an intense immigration debate in the Senate shortly before the court's decision came down, Cruz introduced an amendment that allowed states to ask voters for ID before they could vote. After the decision, he introduced a stand-alone bill that amended the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 to allow states to ask individuals for proof of citizenship before they registered to cast their ballots.