WATCH Sen. Durbin Dismantle Ted Cruz Over Claim Undocumented Immigrants Will Get Covid Aid: ‘Just. Plain. False.’
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) rose in defense of the Biden administration’s Covid relief bill during floor amendments on Saturday, thoroughly dismantling a totally false claim made by his Senate colleague, Ted Cruz (R-TX) about who will receive benefits.
During the so-called vote-a-rama process, hours before the $1.9 trillion bill ultimately passed the Senate on a party-line vote, Cruz offered up a Republican talking point disguised as an amendment that would add a provision to the bill that would ensure “that the stimulus checks should not go to illegal aliens in this country.”
Then, the Texas senator again pushed a false implication with a rhetorical question aimed at sowing doubt and grievance about the Covid aid.
“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?” Cruz said. “The Democrats may say their language allows for that, but they know that the IRS treats someone who is illegally present in the United States for 31 days last year as a resident alien. So this [amendment] corrects that and ensures that illegal aliens are not eligible for taxpayer-funded stimulus checks.”
After what sounded like a “boo” echoed through the chamber, the presiding officer recognized Durbin for a rebuttal.
“The statement of the senator from Texas is just…plain…false,” Durbin shot back, holding what appeared to be a page of the bill in his hand. “Let me be clear. undocumented immigrants do not have Social Security numbers. and they do not qualify for stimulus relief checks, period!”
The Illinois Democrat pointed out that undocumented aliens had not qualified for previous Covid stimulus relief, either. And to drive home Cruz’s disingenuousness, Durbin pointed out that those prior relief bills had used similar language to define who received direct payments and passed under a Republican Senate and then-President Donald Trump.
“Nothing is changed,” Durbin emphasized. “For you to stand up there and say the opposite is just to rile people up over something that is not true.”
“Will the senator yield for a question?” Cruz said, breaking in.
“No, I won’t,” Durbin shot back, cutting him off, as what sound like Cruz laughed off-screen. “We know what’s going on here. They want to be able to give speeches that say the checks go to undocumented people.”
Watch the video above, via C-Span 2.
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