Dems block Cruz on naming street after Chinese activist

Democrats on Thursday blocked a push by Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea GOP state lawmakers meet to plan possible constitutional convention MORE to rename the street in front of the Chinese Embassy in Washington after a Chinese dissident. 

The Texas Republican, who is running for president, tried to get unanimous consent to pass a resolution that would name the street in front of the embassy "Liu Xiaobo Plaza" after Liu Xiaobo, a human rights activist currently imprisoned in China. It would also make the embassy's address  "1 Liu Xiaobo Plaza." 
 
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Passing the legislation would serve as "an expression of solidarity between the people of the United States and the people of the People's Republic of China who are, like Dr. Liu Xiaobo, engaged in a long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights," Cruz's resolution said.
 
 
"I can only infer it has political implications because the president of China is due to arrive here tomorrow," she added, referring to Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is expected to huddle with congressional leadership on Friday.
 
The California Democrat added, "Maybe people don't believe diplomacy makes a difference, but I do."
 
Cruz fired back that "until a few minutes ago" he thought lawmakers wouldn't object to passing the resolution by unanimous consent. 
 
"I, for one, think as Americans we should not be troubled by embarrassing communist oppressors, and I would note — as the senior senator from California leaves the floor — that this is not an issue that is abstract to me. My family, like Dr. Liu, has been imprisoned by oppressive regimes." 
 
The presidential candidate also linked his effort with Pope Francis's speech to lawmakers earlier Thursday, saying that the pope talked "about putting aside petty partisan differences and coming together with a voice of compassion."