Senate border bill vote fails again as Democrats seek to shift blame to GOP

Washington – The Senate failed to advance for a second time on Thursday Bilateral border security operation Republicans first blocked it earlier this year after former President Donald Trump came out against it.

In a 43 to 50 vote, the measure fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance in the upper chamber.

The result was expected, and Democrats are trying to use Republican opposition to sway public opinion in their favor, as polls show voters are critical of President Biden’s handling of immigration. Border security is a central theme for Republicans heading into the November election.

Hawaii Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz argued that Republicans who voted against the measure on Thursday “chose to keep chaos at the border” and “now the crisis is on them.”

At a news conference Wednesday, Schatz expressed anger at his Republican colleagues, who had previously demanded that Democrats “get serious on the border.”

“Some Republicans that I respect very much were very strongly with us, so we listened,” he said. “We made a law that I don’t like, but I know it’s very difficult to do that job. But they abandoned ship because Donald Trump told them to do it.”

Boundary Bill

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer speaks to reporters at the U.S. Capitol on May 21, 2024.

Alex Wong/Getty Images


After months of negotiations, Republicans and Democrats A compromise was reached In February it would have been the first comprehensive border security policy change in decades. It would have given the president more powers to control illegal border crossings and tighten asylum claims.

Republicans have long insisted the move was necessary to provide more aid to Ukraine. But Trump urged his allies to vote against it, and it fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance in the Senate. Congress has been Approves additional aid to UkraineAs part of a broader foreign aid package, backed by the Republican Party.

Republicans have argued that the president already has the authority to stop the flow of migrants across the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the bipartisan deal would do little to expand his authority.

“Unfortunately, if the administration isn’t going to enforce what’s already there, it doesn’t matter what law is on the books,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, said in a speech on Thursday.

On Monday, Mr. Biden told Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, and House Speaker Mike Johnson, Republican of Louisiana, to “stop playing politics and act quickly to pass this bipartisan border legislation.” Summary of White House Conversations.

In a briefing with reporters, senior Biden administration officials also called on congressional Republicans to support border security legislation, urging them to avoid making immigration a “political issue.”

“The American people have proven time and time again that they don’t want mass inspections, family separations or children in cages. They want a secure border and legal immigration opportunities for those who want to come to the United States to enrich our country. This is what President Biden is moving toward in a bipartisan deal,” a senior official said. “It’s up to Republicans in Congress now: Do you really want to do something to solve the problem? Or will you use it as a political issue?”

House Republican leadership earlier this week called the bill “Died on arrival“In the lower chamber in the unlikely event of an exit from the Senate.

The compromise measure was led by Oklahoma Republican Sen. Negotiated by James Lankford; Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat; And Sen. Kirsten Cinema, Arizona Independent.

Lankford, one of four Republicans who voted to advance the measure in February, did not support it this time around, calling it a “prop.

“Today is an exercise in political messaging,” he said during debate on the bill. “It’s not helping us as a country.”

He called on Democrats and Republicans to continue working to find a bipartisan solution.

Cinema criticized the virtual vote as “political drama” and “a show vote aimed at pointing fingers at the other party”.

“We are not leaving today with a political victory,” he said. “Nobody’s going to win, nobody’s going to come out on top. Instead, we tell each other, don’t quit, don’t try to solve big problems. Stay in your biased corner.”

Connecticut Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal pushed back against criticism that the vote was meant to bolster Democrats’ messages at the border.

“This is much more than a news poll. It will have concrete concrete results on border security,” Blumenthal told reporters Wednesday.

Later in the day, in a podium speech, he said Republicans declined to support the measure in February because they wanted to campaign on border issues.

“So now to my Republican colleagues [to] They say politics is the reason we’re here, yes — their politics, their presumptive presidential candidate, they say they don’t vote for it because of the political gain they have because they make it an issue,” he said.

But as Democrats sought to shift the blame to Republicans, they also lost support within their own party. Sen. of New Jersey. Cory Booker voted against it. to say The bill “includes many provisions that violate Americans’ shared values” and “misses key elements that would go further in solving the serious immigration problems facing our country.”

Alan He, Kristin Brown and Camilo Montoya-Galvez contributed reporting.

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