On September 24, 2015, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) proposed legislation that would rename the street across from Red China’s embassy after pro-democracy activist Liu Xiaobo. “This would be the street sign that the Chinese ambassador would look at each day,” Cruz said. “This would be the address that every piece of correspondence going into the embassy and coming out of the embassy would have written on it … the PRC officials will be forced to recognize the bravery of Dr. Liu and to acknowledge it dozens of times a day – day after day after day.”
To Cruz’s horror, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) took the floor to object:
I can only infer that it has political implications, because the President of China is due to arrive here tomorrow and, therefore, this would be passed today, moved out of committee without a vote in front of the Senate. I don’t think that is the way we should do business in this Senate. Maybe people don’t believe diplomacy makes a difference, but I do.
Cruz, visibly angry, came back to the Senate floor. “The presence of President Xi in this country is precisely the reason that we should stand in unanimity in support of human rights,” Cruz said, his voice escalating. “Dr. Liu is in a Chinese prison, and the senior Senator from California is standing and objecting to recognizing this Nobel laureate’s bravery, is standing and objecting because presumably it would embarrass his Communist captors. I, for one, think as Americans we should not be troubled by embarrassing Communist oppressors.”