Senate Democrats Block Ted Cruz Bill Revoking U.S. Citizenship of Terrorists

Senate Democrats Block Ted Cruz Bill Revoking U.S. Citizenship of Terrorists

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Thursday ripped U.S. Senate Democrats for blocking his bill that would revoke the U.S. citizenship of those who join the ISIS terrorist organization, noting that they are abandoning something Hillary Clinton supported when she was Secretary of State.

The Democrats blocked Cruz’s bill on Thursday, a bill that would revoke citizenship from Americans who join ISIS. Cruz’s bill is very similar to one that then Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA)–who is now running in New Hampshire against Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)–and then Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) offered a couple of years ago.

“As then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said concerning the Brown-Lieberman legislation — quote — ‘United States citizenship is a privilege, it is not a right. People who are serving foreign powers or in this case foreign terrorists are clearly in violation of that oath which they swore when they became citizens.’ The Expatriate Terrorist Act of 2014 is only a very modest change to current law. It’s one small step in a larger and necessary effort to refocus our ISIS strategy that I urge President Obama to consider immediately.”

On the campaign trail last week in New Hampshire, Brown endorsed Cruz’s bill.

“When people are in ISIS and they’ve left their citizenship at the door, they made it crystal clear when they went there planning on fighting–they’re not coming back for a house with a picket fence, they’re coming back potentially using and hiding behind that citizenship,” Brown said in a press scrum at an event where Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) endorsed him. 

“I agree with Sen. Cruz. I’m glad he filed [that bill] and I filed twice already because they should not be able to hide behind the rights and privileges guaranteed by the Constitution, especially when they’re looking to hurt and kill our citizens,” Brown added.

Cruz had made an effort to seek unanimous consent to have his bill considered, and Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii objected on behalf of the Senate Democrats on the Senate floor. Cruz said then:

It seems only prudent to address this threat, and I am therefore going to be asking for unanimous consent for the Expatriate Terrorist Act or ETA of 2014, which will make fighting for ISIS, taking up arms against the United States, an affirmative renunciation of American citizenship–and I should note here that the ETA is very similar to the bipartisan legislation proposed by Senators Joe Lieberman and Scott Brown in 2010 to address Americans who were joining al Qaida overseas, notably the radical cleric Anwar al Awlaki, or here at home, like Faisal Shahzad, who attempted to blow up a car bomb in Times Square.


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