Republican Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) announced on Friday that he plans to introduce legislation this week to cut federal funding for U.S. cities that choose to allow noncitizens to vote.
What are the details?
The forthcoming legislation comes in response to a move made by Democratic leaders in New York City last week that granted more than 800,000 legal permanent immigrant residents the power to cast ballots in local elections for offices such as mayor and city council.
With the measure ratified with a veto-proof majority on Thursday, New York City became the largest municipality in the country to extend the franchise to noncitizens.
But the move did not sit well with many in the city, as well as Republican onlookers across the country, Rubio included.
"No city which allows non-U.S. citizens to vote should receive U.S. government funds," the senator tweeted Friday, adding, "Next week I am going to file a bill to make that the law."
One day later, Rubio returned to Twitter to address the issue once again, this time saying "I love NYC. But its government is run by a bunch of psychos."
"Now look, there's a lot of crazy stuff going on in the news these days," Rubio said in a video. "But not requiring people to be citizens in order to vote, that takes a special kind of psycho, that's crazy talk."
"So here's what I'm going to do about it," he went on to say. "I'm going to file a bill in the Senate, and I'm going to pursue it as an amendment every chance I get, that basically says if you [pass legislation] that doesn't require people to be U.S. citizens in order to vote, then you shouldn't be getting U.S. citizen taxpayer money."
State and city Republican officials in New York have also pledged to take legal action against the new measure.
“We will pursue every legal action to see that this dangerous law is struck down," state GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy declared last week, according to the New York Post, adding, “Besides being bad policy, it’s unconstitutional, it’s dangerous and un-American.”
Republican councilman Joseph Borelli claimed that the measure violates the state's constitution.
“The people in this building are doing something against the state constitution,” Borelli said. “The truth is, this will influence our elections, and the people who are registered to vote, the 5.6 million registered voters, ought to have a say in this.”
It is unclear at this point how much support Rubio's forthcoming bill will garner in the Democrat-controlled Congress, but he said in his Saturday video that he wants to get lawmakers on record on the issue.