Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas raised a point of order as a move to block the expansion of visas for foreign workers until employment reaches pre-Covid-19 levels. This was an important vote and if Cruz' point of order had passed, it would have signified that the Senate was serious about protecting U.S. workers during an unprecedented economic shutdown.
Ten Republicans joined with all 50 Democratic Senators to reject Cruz' point of order.
This vote came on the eve of the release of January's "disappointing" employment numbers by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The economy added 49,000 jobs (far below expectations), with only 6,000 in the non-farm private sector, while 406,000 workers dropped out of the labor force entirely. The BLS also revised November and December job numbers and noted that the combined employment for these months was 159,000 lower than previously reported.
The Republicans who voted with all Democrats against a point of order to halt the expansion of work visas until employment reaches pre-Covid-19 levels were:
- Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska
- Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky
- Sen. Susan Collins of Maine
- Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska
- Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska
- Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania
- Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
- Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina
- Sen. John Thune of South Dakota