Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) blocked a middle-of-the-night/early Wednesday morning attempt by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to pass a revised version of the “For The People” Act.
Schumer took a stab at sneaking through the Democrat Party’s signature piece of legislation, which essentially amounts to a federal takeover of U.S. elections.
The legislation is also a countermove to contend with recent actions by Republican led states to enact revised voting and election laws. Democrats have characterized these new laws as “restrictions,” and have not been able to pass the Act because of GOP Senate filibusters.
Republicans had successfully filibustered the bill in June, and had additional help from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who had voiced some opposition to some portions of the bill.
Schumer’s attempt at pushing the bill through came in the form of “unanimous consent,” which requires the objection of only one Senator to kill voting on a bill.
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After almost fifteen hours of votes on various amendments, and no Republican votes, the Senate passed the massive $3.5 trillion budget resolution bill. The bill, which passed 50-49 along party lines, contains most of liberal Democrats wish list items, including child care, paid leave, education, health care, and climate initiatives.
Around 4 a.m., after a marathon session of voting on amendments and then passing the budget resolution, Schumer immediately launched into trying to pass the revised For The People Act.
Schumer quickly got his one Senator objection in Sen. Cruz, who said, “This bill would constitute a federal government takeover of elections. It would constitute a massive power grab by Democrats.”
Schumer replied with, “We have reached a point in this chamber where Republicans appear to oppose any measure no matter how common sense to protect voting rights and strengthen our democracy.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said of the Democrat stunt, “Here in the dead of night, they also want to start tearing up the ground rules of our democracy and writing new ones of course on a purely partisan basis.”
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But not so fast.
While McConnell was busy reprimanding Democrats about sneaking legislation into overnight Senate sessions, McConnell and 19 other Republicans had no trouble siding with Democrats in passing a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, only 23% of which is actually infrastructure.
The “McConnell Republicans,” as they have been dubbed by conservative host Mark Levin, are the usual suspects. The names that come to the top of the list include Collins, Murkowski, McConnell, Romney, and a host of others.
A press release from Sen. John Kennedy’s (R-LA) office lists some disturbing facts about the bill. Kennedy claims that Senators were told it would be paid for, but it will increase the deficit by $256 billion.
Kennedy also alleges that while Repubicans were told the bill would not raise taxes, it raises taxes on Louisiana industry specifically. Kennedy called the bill an “inflation bomb.”
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In addition to raining on Democrats dreams of controlling elections, Sen. Cruz also blocked several State Department nominees in an attempt to pressure Joe Biden over the Russian Nord Stream 2 Pipeline.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee tried to get the confirmation of roughly 30 nominations passed, again using unanimous consent during the Senate’s all-nighter, but Cruz blocked all of them.
Cruz’s blocking of the nominations is in protest of the sanctions reversal on the pipeline by the Biden administration last month.
Cruz stated Wednesday morning, “I have made clear to every State Department official, to every State Department nominee, that I will place holds on these nominees unless and until the Biden administration follows the law and stops this pipeline and imposes the sanctions.”
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