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 CruzSupreme Court appears divided over Cruz campaign finance challenge Democrats, poised for filibuster defeat, pick at old wounds  O'Rourke says he raised record .2M since launching campaign for Texas governor 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 YoungDemocrats return with lengthy to-do list Don't just delay student debt, prevent it Senate confirms Rahm Emanuel to be ambassador to Japan MORE (R-Ind.) and Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonSinema scuttles hopes for filibuster reform Republicans threaten floor takeover if Democrats weaken filibuster  Will Putin sink Biden? 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 DurbinDemocrats make final plea for voting rights ahead of filibuster showdown Democrats, poised for filibuster defeat, pick at old wounds  Schumer prepares for Senate floor showdown with Manchin, Sinema 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 TrumpKinzinger welcomes baby boy Tennessee lawmaker presents self-defense bill in 'honor' of Kyle Rittenhouse Five things to know about the New York AG's pursuit of Trump 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) HassanKelly takes under-the-radar approach in Arizona Senate race Overnight Energy & Environment — Lummis holds up Biden EPA picks Dems block Cruz's Nord Stream 2 sanctions bill MORE (D-N.H.), John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperDemocrats race to squash Cruz's Nord Stream 2 sanctions bill Biden addresses Coloradans after wildfires: 'Incredible courage and resolve' Equilibrium/Sustainability — Mars may start 'terraforming itself' MORE (D-Colo.), Mark KellyMark KellyThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Connected Commerce Council - Biden faces reporters as his agenda teeters Mark Kelly says he'll back changing filibuster rule for voting rights The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Schumer tees up doomed election reform vote MORE (D-Ariz.), Joe ManchinJoe ManchinDemocrats make final plea for voting rights ahead of filibuster showdown The dangerous erosion of Democratic Party foundations Mark Kelly says he'll back changing filibuster rule for voting rights MORE (D-W.Va.), Gary PetersGary PetersDemocrats make final plea for voting rights ahead of filibuster showdown Michigan Republican John James 'strongly considering' House run Officials point to Apache vulnerability in urging passage of cyber incident reporting bill MORE (D-Mich.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowMichigan Republican John James 'strongly considering' House run Updated reconciliation text includes electric vehicle tax credit opposed by Manchin Stabenow calls for expansion of school mental health services MORE (D-Mich.) and Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Connected Commerce Council - Biden faces reporters as his agenda teeters Democrats' filibuster gambit unravels Biden: 'I don't know whether we can get this done' 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 make final plea for voting rights ahead of filibuster showdown DACA highlights pitfalls of legalization schemes The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Schumer tees up doomed election reform vote MORE (D-N.Y.).