Obama likely to veto Cruz bill naming street for Chinese activist

Obama likely to veto Cruz bill naming street for Chinese activist
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An effort by Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzUS-China trade war is just the start of the struggle for global order Dem lawmaker: Migrant family separation policy 'is on all of us' Cruz wins charity basketball challenge against Jimmy Kimmel MORE to rename the street in front of the Chinese embassy after an imprisoned Nobel laureate and human rights activist is running into trouble from the Obama administration.

Days after Cruz’s (R-Texas) measure sailed through the Senate, the State Department said that it would likely be vetoed by the White House.

“We continue to impress upon China the imperative of respecting human rights and releasing Liu Xiaobo, as well as other political prisoners,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said on Tuesday.

“But we do not believe Sen. Cruz's tactic to rename a street in Washington, D.C., is a very effective way to achieve either goal,” Toner added. “We view this kind of legislative active as something that really complicates our efforts.”

“So we oppose this approach,” the spokesman said. “It is our desire to work more productively and cooperatively with Congress on ways to address our shared goal of improving human rights in China.”

Cruz’s legislation, which passed by a voice vote on Friday, would rename the street in front of China’s expansive Northwest Washington embassy after Liu Xiaobo, a human rights activist who has been imprisoned since late 2008. Liu won the Nobel Peace Price for his two-decade fight in support of a “more open and democratic China.”

In a lengthy statement on Tuesday, the GOP presidential candidate criticized the administration’s position as “yet another outrageous example of its eagerness to coddle an authoritarian Communist regime at the expense of pro-American dissidents.”

“Sadly, President Obama and his administration would rather stand with the communist Chinese than with Dr. Liu, whose only crime was to peacefully protest for basic political freedoms,” Cruz added.

He noted that Obama won a Nobel Price the year before Liu.

“How ironic it is that the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate is threatening to veto a bill honoring the 2010 one.”

Passage of the measure on Friday came after Cruz relented on his hold blocking multiple State Department nominees from being confirmed.

This story was updated at 5:38 p.m.