In another blow to Democrats in D.C. and the Texas Legislature, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, blocked congressional Democrats’ latest attempt to give the federal government control over states’ voting rules.

Last Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D–NY) tried to pass Democrats’ already rejected election-takeover legislation by asking for “unanimous consent” to consider the measure immediately following a 15-hour debate on a $3.5 trillion federal spending bill.

Cruz shot down Schumer’s attempt to slip through a revised version of the anti-election integrity bill before lawmakers’ August recess, raising the single objection needed to kill the vote.

“This bill would constitute a federal government takeover of elections. It would constitute a massive power grab by Democrats,” Cruz said.

H.R. 1 and its Senate counterpart, S. 1—both dubbed the “For the People Act of 2021”—are top Democrat priorities. The far-reaching bills seek to transform how American elections are run by seizing power from state legislatures to set their own election laws and using that power to mandate a left-wing wishlist of lax voting processes, locking in many of the voting rules that created chaos in 2020.

The Democrat-controlled U.S. House passed H.R. 1 in March, with all Republicans and one Democrat voting no, but S.1 died in the evenly divided Senate in June, failing to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster.

Democrats argue the federal takeover is needed to stop election reforms that state legislatures are enacting this year, like Senate Bill 1 in Texas.

Yet Democrats first filed H.R. 1 in 2019, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–CA) gave it top-priority status then too, aiming to loosen voting rules nationwide for the 2020 election long before the Chinese coronavirus pandemic hit.

After assuming control of the White House in 2021, D.C. Democrats stepped up efforts to impose their preferred voting rules on all states.

Democrat lawmakers from Texas joined the fray.

More than 50 walked off the job in July so the Republican-run Texas Legislature wouldn’t have enough House members present to pass election security bills.

The quorum-busting Texas Democrats fled to D.C. to attack election integrity reforms in the press and lobby for congressional Democrats’ signature election-takeover bills.

Despite their month in D.C., Texas Democrats failed to gin up more support for the legislation in the U.S. Senate.

Earlier this year, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton vowed to fight H.R. 1 if Congress passed Democrats’ election-takeover bill.

Those plans are on hold, at least until Congress reconvenes in mid-September. Schumer said a pared-down version of the election-federalization bill “will be the first matter of legislative business when the Senate returns to session.”

During the recess, Cruz is speaking to grassroots conservative activists at a town hall event hosted by True Texas Project on August 18.

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.