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Sen. Cruz Seeks Passage of Kate’s Law and Legislation to Honor Chinese Dissidents

Debates Sens. Reid and Feinstein on the Senate Floor

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today asked for unanimous consent to pass both Kate’s Law and his resolution to rename the plaza in front of the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C. as “Liu Xiaobo Plaza.”

Sen. Cruz introduced a similar version of Kate’s Law earlier this year. Recently, he reintroduced the legislation, placing it directly on the Senate calendar and making it immediately available for floor action. This bill would amend federal law to impose a mandatory minimum sentence of five years for any illegal reentry offense. The bill is named for Kate Steinle, the 32-year-old woman who tragically died in the arms of her father on a San Francisco pier after being shot by an illegal alien who had several felony convictions and had been deported from the United States five times.

“This shouldn’t be a red state/blue state issue,” Sen. Cruz said. “The American people are tired of politicians standing with violent criminal illegal aliens. This should bring us together. We should stand together and say, ‘We will protect the American citizens.’”

Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) objected to Sen. Cruz’s request and blocked Kate’s Law from passage, contending Kate’s Law would be too costly to implement. In response, Sen. Cruz remarked, “If it costs too much to lock up murderers, rapists, kidnappers, then you know what? -- We need to spend the money it needs to lock up every single murderer we can. I am sorry that the Democratic Party doesn’t want to spend the money to lock up murderers-- apparently it is cheaper to lose our sons and daughters.”

Sen. Cruz’s resolution to rename the plaza in front of the Chinese embassy would honor Dr. Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner who has been imprisoned for peacefully advocating for basic political freedom the People’s Republic of China (PRC) refuses to allow. 

“In America, we should stand with victims of oppression,” said Sen. Cruz. “In America, we should stand with Christians being persecuted by the brutal communist totalitarian dictatorship. In America, we should stand for women’s rights, for women being forced to commit forced abortions. These are horrific acts of brutality. They are inhumane. They are contrary not only to American values, but to human rights across the globe, and they are carried out as a matter of policy.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) objected to Sen. Cruz’s efforts to honor pro-democracy dissident Dr. Liu Xiaobo, which prevented his measure from passing. This is the third time Sen. Cruz has attempted to pass this resolution and the third time that Sen. Feinstein has objected to its passage. Sen. Cruz’s first attempt can be viewed here, and his second attempt can be viewed here.

Watch Sen. Cruz’s floor speeches and his exchanges with Sens. Reid and Feinstein here.