Senate rejects Cruz effort to block stimulus checks for undocumented immigrants

The Senate voted along party lines Saturday morning to reject an amendment sponsored by Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzFBI investigating alleged assault on Fort Bliss soldier at Afghan refugee camp The Memo: Biden's immigration problems reach crescendo in Del Rio Matthew McConaughey on potential political run: 'I'm measuring it' MORE (R-Texas), a potential 2024 White House candidate, to block $1,400 stimulus checks from going to undocumented immigrants.

The amendment failed by a vote of 49 to 50, with a slim majority of the Senate voting against it.

Eight Democrats had voted for a similar amendment sponsored by Sens. Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungHow to fix the semiconductor chip shortage (it's more than manufacturing) Senate Democrats try to defuse GOP budget drama The 19 GOP senators who voted for the T infrastructure bill MORE (R-Ind.) and Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonHillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Tech groups take aim at Texas Republican lawmakers raise security, privacy concerns over Huawei cloud services Debt ceiling fight pits corporate America against Republicans MORE (R-Ark.), another White House hopeful, early last month during a debate on the Senate budget resolution. However, the Democratic caucus stayed unified on Saturday in defeating the Republican amendment.

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All Republicans voted for it.

“This amendment before us today provides that the stimulus checks should not go to illegal aliens in this country,” Cruz said while introducing the amendment. “The question for the American people to answer is, should your money, should taxpayer money, be sent, $1,400, to every illegal alien in America?”

Senate Majority Whip Dick DurbinDick DurbinSchumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Democrats surprised, caught off guard by 'framework' deal Senate panel advances antitrust bill that eyes Google, Facebook MORE (D-Ill.) slammed the measure while accusing Cruz of exaggerating the flow of stimulus payments to undocumented immigrants. He pointed out that the pending $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill treats payments to families with undocumented immigrant members the same way as the $900 billion relief bill passed by the GOP-controlled Senate in December and signed into law by former President TrumpDonald TrumpJulian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy Overnight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Five takeaways from Arizona's audit results MORE.

“The statement of the senator from Texas is just plain false. False! Let me be clear: Undocumented immigrants do not have Social Security numbers, and they do not qualify for stimulus relief checks,” he said.

Durbin accused Cruz and other Republicans of trying to collect political ammo for the campaign trail.

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“They want to be able to give speeches that say the checks go to undocumented people,” he said, accusing Cruz of trying to “rile people up over something that is not true.”

Eight Democrats voted for a similar effort sponsored by Young and Cotton to establish a reserve fund to bar illegal immigrants from receiving economic impact payments or other direct temporary assistance.

They were Sens. Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanKoch-backed group launches 7-figure ad blitz opposing .5T bill Overnight Hillicon Valley — Majority supports national data privacy standards, poll finds Senator calls on agencies to take action to prevent criminal cryptocurrency use MORE (D-N.H.), John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperRep. Tim Ryan becomes latest COVID-19 breakthrough case in Congress NY Democrat tests positive for COVID-19 in latest House breakthrough case Florida Democrat becomes latest breakthrough COVID-19 case in House MORE (D-Colo.), Mark KellyMark KellyFive takeaways from Arizona's audit results Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Afghan evacuation still frustrates Overnight Defense & National Security — Congress begins Afghanistan grilling MORE (D-Ariz.), Joe ManchinJoe ManchinOvernight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Poll from liberal group shows more voters in key states back .5T bill Why Democrats opposing Biden's tax plan have it wrong MORE (D-W.Va.), Gary PetersGary PetersHillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Officials want action on cyberattacks Officials urge Congress to consider fining companies that fail to report cyber incidents Senate Democrats announce million investment in key battlegrounds ahead of 2022 MORE (D-Mich.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowDemocrats surprised, caught off guard by 'framework' deal Congress facing shutdown, debt crisis with no plan B GOP warns McConnell won't blink on debt cliff MORE (D-Mich.) and Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Biden jumps into frenzied Dem spending talks Congress facing shutdown, debt crisis with no plan B Biden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan MORE (D-Mont.).

The amendment to the Senate budget resolution was later stripped out by a substitute amendment offered by Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerDemocrats press Schumer on removing Confederate statues from Capitol Democrats' do-or-die moment Biden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan MORE (D-N.Y.).