Rafael Edward "Ted" Cruz (born December 22, 1970) is the junior United States Senator from Texas. Elected in 2012 as a Republican, he is the first Hispanic or Cuban American to serve as a U.S. Senator from Texas. He is the chairman of the subcommittee on the Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. He is also the chairman of the subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness, U.S. Senate Commerce Committee.