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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 Cruz15 Senate Republicans pledge to oppose lifting earmark ban 'Real Housewives of the GOP' — Wannabe reality show narcissists commandeer the party Is the antidote to bad speech more speech or more regulation? 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 Young'Building Back Better' requires a new approach to US science and technology To encourage innovation, Congress should pass two bills protecting important R&D tax provision Senate Republicans voice opposition to Biden on Iran MORE (R-Ind.) and Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - All US adults now eligible for COVID vaccines Parade of 2024 GOP hopefuls court House conservatives Hillicon Valley: Biden administration sanctions Russia for SolarWinds hack, election interference 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 DurbinWhite House defends 'aspirational' goal of 62,500 refugees Biden on refugee cap: 'We couldn't do two things at once' For a win on climate, let's put our best player in the game 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 TrumpHouse votes to condemn Chinese government over Hong Kong Former Vice President Walter Mondale dies at age 93 White House readies for Chauvin verdict 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) HassanSchumer lays groundwork for future filibuster reform To encourage innovation, Congress should pass two bills protecting important R&D tax provision Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists MORE (D-N.H.), John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - All US adults now eligible for COVID vaccines The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - All US adults can get vaccine; decision Friday on J&J vax This week: Democrats move on DC statehood MORE (D-Colo.), Mark KellyMark KellyManchin throws support behind union-backed PRO Act Republicans fret over divisive candidates Wall Street spent .9B on campaigns, lobbying in 2020 election: study MORE (D-Ariz.), Joe ManchinJoe ManchinOn The Money: Treasury creates hub to fight climate change | Manchin throws support behind union-backed PRO Act | Consumer bureau rolls out rule to bolster CDC eviction ban Miners union to back Biden on green energy if it retains jobs Manchin throws support behind union-backed PRO Act MORE (D-W.Va.), Gary PetersGary PetersHillicon Valley: Biden nominates former NSA deputy director to serve as cyber czar | Apple to send witness to Senate hearing after all | Biden pressed on semiconductor production amid shortage Bipartisan lawmakers signal support for Biden cybersecurity picks The Hill's Morning Report - Biden: Let's make a deal on infrastructure, taxes MORE (D-Mich.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowSerious about climate change? Get serious about agriculture Five things to watch on Biden infrastructure plan Senators introduce bipartisan bill to expand electric vehicle charging tax credit MORE (D-Mich.) and Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterThis week: Democrats move on DC statehood Lobbying world The Hill's Morning Report - Biden's infrastructure plan triggers definition debate 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 Schumer'Real Housewives of the GOP' — Wannabe reality show narcissists commandeer the party 'Building Back Better' requires a new approach to US science and technology Pew poll: 50 percent approve of Democrats in Congress MORE (D-N.Y.).