25 things Ted Cruz has voted against this year

Ted Cruz has been a thorn in the side of Joe Biden since rejecting the results of the 2020 election in January. The Texas senator on Wednesday was among six Republicans to oppose strengthening the US government’s response to rising anti-Asian hate crimes, in the wake of the Covid outbreak.

The ‘No’ vote was criticised for being another controversial rejection of the Biden administration agenda, and follows voting against almost every Cabinet secretary of Mr Biden’s in recent weeks – although the efforts, in the end, failed.

All the bills Mr Cruz has voted ‘No’ to in the US Senate so for this year, are listed below:

The US 2020 election results

Not a bill, but infamous for coming in the hours after supporters of former president Donald Trump – wrongly citing election fraud – stormed the US Capitol in events that killed five people, including a Capitol Police officer.

Mr Cruz was among eight Republican senators to reject the results in a joint session of Congress, which was unsurprising, given his support for Mr Trump and allegations of a fraudulent election – for which there was never any real evidence.

Nomination of Avril Haines for Director of National Intelligence

The first woman nominated for the role at the top of the country’s intelligence agency, and the first of Mr Biden’s picks for Cabinet secretary to go in front of senators for confirmation.

Mr Cruz and nine other Republicans voted ‘No’ to the nomination of Ms Haines in January, failing.

Nomination of Janet Yellen as Secretary of the Treasury

Following the rejection of Ms Yellen’s appointment to the top of the US Federal Reserve by former president Barack Obama in 2014 , Mr Cruz again opposed appointing Ms Yellen to the top of the US treasury by Mr Biden, but failed.

Eight-four senators voted in favour of the Secretary of the Treasury, and the first woman in the role.

Nomination of Antony Blinken as Secretary of State

Mr Blinken is at the top of the Biden administration and fourth in line for presidential succession, following his confirmation as Sectary of State by 74 senators – not including the Texas senator, Mr Cruz.

Issuing a statement, Mr Cruz said the Secretary of State “will dangerously erode America’s national security and will put the Biden administration on a collision course with Congress”.

That, of course, remains to be seen with the US president already reversing the “America First” agenda of the Trump administration.

Nomination of Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation

The first openly gay member of the US Cabinet, Mr Buttigieg received the support of 86 senators following his nomination to the role of transport secretary.

Mr Cruz voted ‘No’ to the appointment, after accusing Mr Buttigieg and Mr Biden of cancelling the Keystone oil pipeline and jobs associated with the project.

The incoming transport secretary was celebrated for telling the Texas senator that the future will judge them on “whether we did enough to stop the destruction of life and property due to climate change”. That is, instead of profits for oil firms.

Nomination of Alejandro Mayorkas as Secretary of Homeland Security

Mr Mayorkas’s confirmation as homeland security secretary was approved by the tightest margin of any of Mr Biden’s nominees – with 54 votes – putting the Obama-era official in charge of the country’s immigration and national security agenda.

In an effort to derail the appointment of the first Latino to lead the Department of Homeland Security, Mr Cruz tweeted that Mr Mayorkas “has shown a repeated disregard for the rule of law”, and in a statement, accused him of a number of “policy failures” during his time in office.

The budget resolution for 2021

The passing of the budget resolution by the US Senate paved the way for Mr Biden’s $1.9 trillion (£1.3 trillion) Covid relief package – approved in March.

Republicans, including Mr Cruz, opposed the bill with complaints of overspending, and the passing of the Covid relief via the process of a budget resolution to avoid a 60-vote filibuster.

Nomination of Denis McDonough as Secretary of Veterans Affairs

Mr McDonough faces the challenges of Covid vaccine administration and of reforming the Department of Veterans Affairs, after 87 senators voted for the former chief of staff for Mr Obama.

During the confirmation, Mr Cruz voted ‘No’, having come under fire from Mr McDonough in 2013 for suggesting that US troops in Syria would “serve as Al Qaeda’s air force”.

The second impeachment of former president Trump

The second impeachment trial of Mr Trump in the US Senate concluded with Mr Cruz voting with a large number of Republican senators to acquit their former boss for inciting insurrection on the US Capitol on 6 January.

Mr Cruz, who voted in rejection of the trial in a separate vote, said “everybody knows the outcome of this proceeding, which is that President Donald Trump is going to be acquitted”.

So confident was Mr Cruz of the outcome, that he found time to tweet about breast milk during the trial.

Nomination of Thomas J. Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture

First appointed to the role by Mr Obama in 2008, Mr Vilsack was the ninth member of Mr Biden’s Cabinet to be confirmed by the Senate, with 92 votes in favour.

Mr Cruz was one of seven Republicans senators and Bernie Sanders, the progressive senator for Vermont, to oppose the nomination of Mr Vilsack – against a fair amount of the Senate.

Nomination of the US ambassador to the UN

Coming within hours of the rejection of Mr Vilsack for agriculture secretary, Mr Cruz called for Republicans to oppose the nomination of Linda Thomas-Greenfield for US ambassador to the UN for her previous remarks on China.

Mr Cruz was able to delay the confirmation of Ms Thomas-Greenfield as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee – again citing concerns that she would fail to stand up to Beijing, despite being a veteran diplomat.

Seventy-four senators went on to vote for Mr Biden’s choice for UN ambassador. Mr Cruz afterwards tweeted that “Team Biden is rushing to embrace the Chinese Communist Party”. The fruits of which embrace are currently nowhere to be seen.

Nomination of Jennifer Granholm as Secretary of Energy

Mr Cruz voted with 35 senators to oppose Ms Granholm’s nomination to the top of the Department for Energy.

The former governor of Michigan is in charge of the gradual towards cleaner sources of energy, despite opposition from Republicans and Mr Cruz, who receives a significant sum from oil and gas companies.

Nomination of Miguel Cardona as Secretary of Education

Mr Cardona was approved by 64 senators to take the job at the top of the US Department of Education.

The former education commissioner for Connecticut is facing the difficult task of reopening classrooms in the middle of the Covid pandemic, to which Mr Cruz said “Secretary Cardona needs to prioritise” following his confirmation. Mr Cruz voted ‘No’.

Nomination of Gina Raimondo as Secretary of Commerce

The former governor of Rhode Island was confirmed as commerce secretary after Mr Cruz criticised Ms Raimondo for refusing to commit to keep Chinese telecom giant Huawei on the department’s banned list.

She told senators she saw “no reason” for Huawei’s removal from the list, which was enough for 84 senators to approve her confirmation, but was not enough for Mr Cruz.

Increase in federal minimum wage to $15 an hour

The Texas senator voted ‘No’ to including a $15 minimum wage in the Biden administration’s Covid relief package, and not for the first time.

Seven years ago, Mr Cruz rejected proposals for a federal minimum wage of $15 – again from Mr Sanders and other Democrats – saying the idea was “bad policy”.

The $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill

Senators applauded the passing of the fourth round of Covid relief – among the largest ever bills passed by Congress – with the exception of Mr Cruz and a number of Republicans who opposed the spending.

The Texas senator accused Democrats of allowing “illegal immigrants” and “criminals” to collect Covid stimulus checks, and of introducing “partisan spending wish lists”.

Nomination of Merrick Garland as Attorney General

Almost five years after Senate Republicans refused to give Mr Garland a committee hearing for the Supreme Court, blocking the nomination by Mr Obama altogether, a number of senators rejected the nomination of Mr Biden’s choice for Attorney General.

Mr Cruz, among them, afterwards called for Mr Garland to investigate reports of New York governor Andrew Cuomo covering-up the number of Covid deaths in care homes.

The other unfolding scandal during the hearing for Mr Garland? Mr Cruz’s recent return from Cancun, Mexico, following a record breaking winter storm and state-wide power outages, which he was accused of fleeing from.

Nomination of Marcia Fudge as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Ms Fudge, a congresswoman from Ohio, is the first black woman to run the housing department in decades following her confirmation by the Senate.

Mr Cruz voted ‘No’ to the appointment,

Nomination of Michael Regan Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

Voting within hours of Ms Fudge’s confirmation, senators approved Mr Biden’s pick for the environment protection agency by 66 votes.

Mr Regan, tasked with restoring regulations on industry and fuel, was unsurprisingly unsupported by Mr Cruz – an ally of the former president and of rolling back environmental protections.

Nomination of Xavier Becerra as Secretary of Health and Human Services

Mr Cruz accused the US present of nominating “someone with zero experience in anything related to health care” top of the country’s health department, in the weeks before Mr Becerra was approved by senators.

Only one Republican, Susan Collins of Maine, voted in support of Mr Becerra, a son of Mexican immigrants.

Nomination of Marty Walsh as Secretary of Labor

Mr Walsh was the final Cabinet secretary of Mr Biden’s to be approved by the Senate, with 68 in support of the son of Irish immigrants to the US, and former mayor of Boston.

Nomination of Shalanda Young as Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget

Ms Young was approved as the Office of Management and Budget’s deputy director following a decade as a director for Democrats on the House’s appropriations committee. Mr Cruz voted ‘No’ to the confirmation.

Nomination of Vivek Murthy as Surgeon General

Senators – not including Mr Cruz – voted for Mr Murthy to return the to the role of surgeon general, following his stint during the Obama administration.

In 2014, Mr Cruz was gleefully cheered by Democrats for allowing the confirmation of Murphy to take place, following a number of obstacles.

Nomination of Rachel Lavine as assistant secretary for health

The first openly transgender official to secure nomination from the Senate, Dr Lavine was supported by 52 senators, with Mr Cruz opposing.

The Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act

Mr Crux was among six Republican senators to reject the bill proposing an acceleration in justice department efforts to review a rise in hate crimes committed against Asian-Americans.

It follows Mr Trump’s nicknaming of the Covid-19 virus as the “Wuhan flu” and “China virus”, among other names, throughout 2020 – which largely went unchallenged by Republicans.

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