The Senate border deal is on life support due to rising resistance from both Senate and House Republicans.
President Joe Biden has accused former President Donald Trump of exacerbating the current border crisis by opposing the latest Senate border deal.
“Now, all indications are that this bill won’t even move forward to the Senate floor. Why? A simple reason: Donald Trump. Because Donald Trump thinks it’s bad for him politically,” President Biden told reporters on Tuesday.
“He’d rather weaponize this issue than actually solve it. So, for the last 24 hours, he’s done nothing, I’m told, but reach out to Republicans in the House and Senate and threaten them and try to intimidate them to vote against this proposal. And it looks like they’re caving.”
President Biden praised the proposal, saying it is the result of hard work and reflects the most fair, humane reforms in the U.S. immigration system, as well as claiming it to be the toughest set of border security reforms.
Less than 24 hours after its release, the Senate border deal is on life support due to rising resistance from both Senate and House Republicans.
On Feb. 4, a group of senators introduced the much-anticipated deal, which included border security measures as well as additional funding for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.
The package has top-line spending of $118 billion, which includes roughly $60 billion for Ukraine, $14 billion for Israel, and $20 billion to implement the new border measures.
The agreement was announced against opposition from House Republicans, with Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) declaring that the bill was “dead on arrival” in the House.
The package seemed poised to be fast-tracked through the Senate with the backing of both Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).
Conservatives, however, have reacted strongly to the border security measures—including a provision that mandates a border shutdown after seven consecutive days with an average of 5,000 illegal immigrants are encountered per day, or if more than 8,500 illegal aliens are encountered in a single day—Senate Republicans have asked for extra time to study the legislation.
During a closed-door Senate GOP meeting on Monday night, Mr. McConnell recommended senators vote no to a procedural vote on Wednesday to begin debate on the bill, according to a Senate source.
It would take only 41 senators to defeat the procedural vote on Wednesday. According to estimates, at least 23 Republicans have publicly opposed the deal, as have two Democrats.
Even Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), the deal’s Republican negotiator, hinted that he may vote no in the procedural vote if his colleagues were not prepared. Voting against its advancement on Wednesday is not voting against the bill, he told reporters.
“Every day between now and November, the American people are going to know that the only reason the border is not secure is Donald Trump and his MAGA Republican friends,” President Biden said.
He urged Congress to pass the bill, titled the “Emergency National Security Supplemental Appropriations Act.”
“It’s time for Republicans in Congress to show courage, to show spine to make it clear to the American people that you work for them, not for anyone else.”
Joseph Lord contributed to this report.