Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Tuesday refused to provide any evidence that voter fraud exists during a Senate Rules Committee hearing on the For the People Act, a sweeping piece of legislation designed to protect voting rights from Republican efforts to disenfranchise voters.
Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Jon Ossoff (D-OR) asked Cruz to back up his insistence that automatic voter registration leads to fraud (numerous studies have shown it does not), to which he replied with classic GOP whataboutism.
“I want to ask my colleague from Texas a question. So we have many states that have established automatic voter registration. Do you have any studies you want to present for the record that document extensive mistakes being made, which people who are non-citizens are registered to vote? The Brennen Center I might note has studied this and they have found that you are more likely to be struck by lightning that finding such an individual. But if you have evidence to the contrary, I think it would be an appropriate time to present it to the committee,” Merkley said.
Predictably, Cruz was unable to pony up the dough, opting instead to accuse Democrats of facilitating election fraud.
“You know, Senator Merkley is one of the authors of the bill as I understand it. I suppose I could ask why he saw fit to repeatedly immunize state officials from registering illegal immigrants if it were not that the obvious and intended effect of this bill was to register millions of illegal immigrants?” Cruz responded.
“Does the Senator have documentation he wishes to submit to the committee?” Merkley reiterated.
“So Senator Merkley is declining to answer the question and I’m going to refer to the text of the bill which makes absolutely clear that the effect of this is to register millions of illegal immigrants. There would be no purpose for the granting immunity if it were not the case that that’s exactly what this bill is designed to do,” said Cruz.
Ossoff then took a turn at Cruz but got nowhere.
“Just to follow up on Senator Merkley’s question, Senator Cruz, in Georgia we have as well – enacted by a Republican-controlled state legislature – automatic registration for voters. I’d like to again offer you the opportunity in good faith, Senator Cruz, to present any evidence for the record to this committee that in any of the states where this policy exists, if there’s any widespread registration by people who should not be eligible to vote,” Ossoff said.
Once again, Cruz went on a ran about how Democrats want non-citizens to vote, which is false:
Well you know I’m very glad that Democratic Senators are suggesting illegal immigrants won’t be registered to vote under this bill because if that’s the case, you should support this amendment. Because this amendment would be supporting what you claim are the purposes of the bill. And by the way, for what it is worth, every single Republican Senator and every single Republican House member believes that the purpose of this bill is to keep Democrats in power. That’s why every Democrat on this committee voted to make the Federal Election Commission a partisan Democratic agency, and the fact that you’re suggesting illegal immigrants won’t be registered means you should support this amendment because it would mean the people registered are citizens and can provide proof of citizenship. But it is the position of Democrats in the Senate that you don’t want people to provide proof of citizenship and that is why I believe the statute explicitly grants immunity to officials breaking the law. The reason the immunity is there is because what the bill provides is it directs them to break the law and register millions of people to vote who are not eligible to vote because they are not United States citizens.
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.