Senator Ted Cruz introduced a bill today to ban government employees from listening to rapper Jay-Z's music.
In a speech on the Senate floor, the Texas Republican, who is of Cuban descent, said Jay-Z's recent rip to Cuba with his wife Beyoncé was "an unconscionable act of treason" and should be punished severely.
"It bothers me that some of our nation's leading singers don't seem to care about the law," Cruz told his fellow senators. "We've had a travel ban on Cuba for fifty years for one very good reason - it works. The regime has slowly been crumbling for decades.
"We were weeks, maybe only days away from seeing the fall of the Communist regime. Freedom was on the march. Democracy was in the air.
"And then Mr. Jay-Z swoops in and ruins it all for everyone. Well I don't see why a friend of the Castros is allowed to do business here in the United States."
Jay-Z (née Shawn Carter) and his wife Beyoncé Knowles visited Cuba last week to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary. Although the State Department officially sanctioned their visit through a special cultural exchange visa, many Republican lawmakers have questioned the legality of their trip.
Cruz's ban would apply to all government employees, including active duty military personnel. It would make possession of Jay-Z music on an a phone, iPod or CD while on government property punishable by 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Free speech advocates have come out against the bill, arguing it is a gross violation of the First Amendment. However, Cruz rejects that criticism out of hand.
"The First Amendment is an important and vital part of our constitution," he says, "but since when does freedom of speech give someone the right to say things that I personally disagree with? Doesn't that go too far?
"Did the founding fathers really want the First Amendment to apply to communists, fascists, lesbians, or rappers? I don't think so."
Cruz says his ban is constitutional because it only applies to government employees while at work. However, one government employee doesn't agree with the move.
"So I can go off to war and get shot at fighting for my country," says Sgt. Raymond Shaw, a member of the U.S. Army. "But if I put Jay-Z in my iPod when I get back I'm going to jail? Whoever this Ted Cruz guy is, he's a f**king dick."
Asked why his proposed ban doesn't apply to Beyoncé's music since she also made the trip to Cuba, Cruz explained that her music is different.
"I've been a huge fan ever since Destiny's Child," he says. "I'm a government employee, and I don't think I could live without my Single Ladies."
Cruz is the junior Senator from Texas, first elected in 2012. He is affiliated with the Tea Party movement.