At 2:43 a.m. this morning, the Senate voted against an amendment offered by Texas Senator Ted Cruz which would restrict the Senate from passing any legislation that increases employment-based visas until the unemployment rate returns to pre-pandemic levels.
Cruz’s amendment, which garnered 40 Yeas, would have created “a point of order against the consideration of any legislation that increases employment-based visas until the United States' labor market stabilizes and unemployment levels reach pre-pandemic levels, ensuring that Congress prioritizes the needs of American workers who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic.”
If the amendment had passed, the point of order could have been waived by a simple majority vote in the Senate, but, it would add a procedural hurdle that requires all Senators to go on record and vote each time a bill that increases employment-based visas is brought to the floor.
Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rand Paul (R-KY), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Tim Scott (R-SC), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), John Thune (R-SD), and Pat Toomey (R-PA), all joined their Democrat colleagues to vote against the amendment.
This lack of commitment to U.S. Citizens from the Senate comes at a time when the Census Bureau shared that 90 million Americans are struggling to pay basic household expenses, the Department of Labor found that 18 million have filed for unemployment, and the Economic Policy Institute reports that for 45 weeks in a row, the total initial claims outnumbered even the worst week of the Great Recession.
View the roll call here.
Updated: Fri, Feb 19th 2021 @ 12:20pm EST