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House GOP says revived border bill “dead on arrival” as Senate plans vote

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House GOP says revived border bill “***** on arrival” as Senate plans vote

Washington — House *********** leadership said Monday that a Senate effort to revive a once-******* border security measure is “***** on arrival” in the lower chamber. But the legislation may not make it out of the Senate. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday in a letter to colleagues that the chamber this week would again take up the border legislation negotiated by a bipartisan group of senators earlier this year. The bill, which came as part of a broader foreign aid package, was quickly rejected by Republicans after former President Donald Trump expressed his opposition. 

“On cue, many of our *********** colleagues abruptly reversed course on their prior support, announcing their new-found opposition to the bipartisan proposal,” Schumer said in the letter. “By contrast, Democrats’ commitment to act never waned. That is why the Senate is prepared to take up the bipartisan Border Act as a standalone measure this coming week.”

The legislation, which would mark the first comprehensive border security policy overhaul in decades and give the president far-reaching powers to clamp down on unlawful border crossings, came after months of negotiations. Schumer praised the negotiators in his letter on Sunday for achieving “the unthinkable: bipartisan agreement on a comprehensive border security package.” He called the legislation “a tough, serious-minded, and critically, bipartisan — proposal to secure our border.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer speaks during a news conference following a Senate Democrat party policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol Building on May 08, 2024 in Washington, DC

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Senate Democrats have emphasized their efforts to address border security in recent weeks, bringing attention to the stalled border legislation at recent news conferences and putting the blame on congressional Republicans for the lack of progress on the issue. The posture comes as border security has become a key feature of the GOP platform heading toward November’s election, as Republicans have skewered the Biden administration and Democrats over the handling of the southern border. 

According to a new CBS News poll that surveyed voters in some battleground states in the 2024 election, immigration is playing a central role for voters. In Arizona, which was surveyed by CBS News, a majority say President Biden has been “too easy” on migrants. Whereas Trump’s policies are described as putting the interests of current U.S. citizens ahead of the interests of recent immigrants, many Arizonans say the same isn’t true for Mr. Biden’s policies.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre defended the president’s record in a statement on Monday that expressed support for the Senate border bill, saying Mr. Biden since his first day in office has been calling on Congress to “fix our broken immigration system.”

“That’s why, earlier this year, his Administration reached a bipartisan agreement on the toughest and fairest set of reforms in decades,” she said, adding that the White House “strongly” supports the legislation and encouraging all senators to “put partisan politics aside and vote to secure the border.”

In the State of the Union earlier this year, Mr. Biden called on House Republicans to move forward with the bill, saying “send me the border bill now!” And a group of House Democrats earlier this month called on Mr. Biden to take executive action on the border, pointing to the torpedoing of the border bill by Republicans.

The legislation is still expected to fall short in the Democrat-controlled Senate. With some defections expected among Democrats in addition to the continued GOP opposition, it almost certainly won’t have the necessary support for passage. 

Schumer acknowledged that he expected some Democrats to vote against the legislation, along with some Republicans. But he encouraged “serious-minded Republicans” to return to the table. 

“At the end of the day, the ********* people deserve political leaders who will work towards bipartisan solutions and that is what we are prepared to do in the ******* States Senate this coming week,” he said. 

Though it ******** unlikely, should the border bill advance out of the Senate, House leadership made clear in a statement on Monday that it has no legs in the GOP-controlled lower chamber. 

“Should it reach the House, the bill would be ***** on arrival,” Speaker Mike Johnson, Majority Leader Steve Scalise, Whip Tom Emmer and GOP Chairwoman Elise Stefanik said in a statement.

“For more than three years now, Congressional Democrats have stood by while the Biden Administration has opened our borders to ********* ***** cartels, terrorists, and untold millions of ******** immigrants,” the leaders said. “Now, Leader Schumer is trying give his vulnerable members cover by bringing a vote on a bill which has already ******* once in the Senate because it would actually codify many of the disastrous Biden open border policies that created this crisis in the first place.”

Alan He contributed reporting. 

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