Cruz blocks Democrats' attempt to shove through voting rights package in the middle of the night

AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer tried to pull a fast one in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. While most of us were sleeping last night, Schumer thought it was a good idea to bring up the Senate’s version of the For the People Act, calling for a vote via unanimous consent at 4:00 a.m. It takes only one objection from a senator to stop the vote. Senator Cruz was that vote.

The fact that Schumer tried to do this at 4:00 a.m. after fifteen hours of amendment votes on the $3.5 trillion budget resolution tells the story. He isn’t operating in good faith. The Senate passed the bloated budget resolution and then Schumer tried to pass the voting rights package by unanimous consent. Fortunately, Cruz was awake and paying attention. He objected which foiled Schumer’s effort. Cruz said, “This bill would constitute a federal government takeover of elections. It would constitute a massive power grab by Democrats.”

Schumer knows that there is no way he can get the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster on the “voting rights” package, which will surely happen. Some Democrats are not on board with the power grab that is meant to install a permanent Democrat majority on a party-line vote. Senate Republicans filibustered the For the People Act in June. At that time, Senator Joe Manchin voiced opposition to some parts of the bill. He still hasn’t been won over.

Democrats and their partners in the media like to refer to new election legislation passed in some red states as passing bills that restrict voting rights. They say it is to suppress the votes of black and brown voters. It’s not true but it is red meat for the perpetually outraged on the left who raise a lot of money by calling Republicans racist. Some states allowed new ways of voting to accommodate voters with fears of the coronavirus during the 2020 presidential election. Now the states are crafting legislation to return back to normal, as the pandemic will not be a factor in the next election cycle. Assuring election integrity is not voter suppression. For example, in one county in Texas, the largest county, drive-through voting, and 24-hour voting were allowed during early voting. An aggressive Democrat county clerk in Harris County put the voting options in place though they were not in Texas voting law and had never been done before. Texas legislation, now being held up by overwrought Democrat state legislators, brings Harris County back into alignment with other counties. It’s all about a power grab by Democrats, whether it is in Austin or Washington, D.C. Texas, by the way, has better voting access for voters than New York does so maybe Schumer should check out his own state before railing against red states. The same holds true for Joe Biden and his home state of Delaware. Delaware doesn’t even offer early voting. The number of early voting days was extended in Texas during the pandemic, for the record.

Schumer responded to Cruz’s objection. “We have reached a point in this chamber where Republicans appear to oppose any measure no matter how common sense to protect voting rights and strengthen our democracy.” How do the actions of rogue hyperpartisan county clerks “strengthen our democracy”, Chuck? When the facts don’t match the rhetoric, just escalate to say our democracy is under attack, right?

Mitch McConnell said, “Here in the dead of night, they also want to start tearing up the ground rules of our democracy and writing new ones of course on a purely partisan basis.” True enough. However, it sure would have been nice if McConnell had so stridently objected to the passage of the $1T infrastructure bill that he voted in favor of this week. With the passage of that monstrosity, it allowed a major victory for Joe Biden and it allowed the $3.5 trillion budget resolution to move forward. Whispering Joe crowed about the return to bipartisanship in the Senate while patting himself on the back because a few Republicans think that the infrastructure bill will get them votes in their next election. Republicans never learn. Bipartisanship only goes one way and this is only when Republicans bend to the will of Democrats.