Senate Dems have reached border deal with Republicans but House GOP says it's 'dead on arrival'

The full legislative language of the border agreement hasn't been released yet but details have been leaked, and House GOP members don't like it.

Published: February 2, 2024 11:00pm

Senate Democrats have reached a border deal with Senate Republicans that is apparently tied to funding for the war in Ukraine in a supplemental foreign aid package but House GOP leaders have said it's "dead on arrival" in their chamber.

The full legislative language of the border agreement hasn't been released yet but details have been leaked.

"Republicans said the border is a priority and we should craft a bipartisan bill to help control the border. We did that," wrote Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., Friday on the social media platform X. "We have a deal. This weekend we will release the bill and vote next week. It’s decision time."

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Thursday that he plans to "file cloture on the motion to proceed to the vehicle on Monday," which would be a procedural vote on the bill. He said the first vote on the national security supplemental would likely occur "no later than Wednesday."

Schumer said the legislation would also include funding for Israel, "millions of incident Gaza citizens" in need of aid, and Taiwan. "And our southern border is in urgent need—in urgent need—of fixing," he added. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, cast doubt on the Senate taking a vote on the bill next week.

"Nor should it be passed until we have had adequate time to read the bill, discuss it with constituents, debate it, offer amendments, and vote on those amendments," Lee wrote in an option piece for The Federalist. "There’s no universe in which those things will happen by next week."

Republicans — and now many Democrats — have been outspoken about the Biden Administration’s handling of the border, pointing to the record amount of encounters that have occurred since 2021 as evidence of mismanagement. In December 2023 alone, there were more than 300,000 encounters with migrants at the southern border, which set a new single month record.

According to leaked details of the agreement, up to 8,500 migrants could be allowed to enter the U.S. at the border in a 24-hour period or an average of 5,000 over the course of the week before a closure of the border would be triggered.

This was enough for House GOP leaders to declare the agreement is "dead on arrival" in the GOP-led House. Johnson and House conservatives have argued that Biden currently has enough authority to fix many of the problems at the border through executive order.

"I applaud my Republican colleagues led by Rep. Ashley Hinson for telling President Biden directly: you have the existing authority to end the border catastrophe. It was the Biden administration’s disastrous policies — including 64 executive actions — that opened the border," Johnson said in a statement posted on X. "House GOP is united in taking the fight to the President and make him secure the border."

Johnson said on Fox News on Friday that he personally told President Biden "directly that he has existing authority to help end the border catastrophe his policies created" and the "American people deserve nothing less."

Some House Republicans who recently visited the southern border to assess the situation on the ground have advocated for closing the border, describing the situation as a crisis that has overwhelmed U.S. authorities. “We want to get the border closed and secured first,” Johnson said after the visit.

Some Democrats have also acknowledged that there are executive actions Biden can take related to the border without congressional approval, given that he unilaterally eliminated many of Trump's border executive actions when he came into office in 2021.

Just the News asked Rep. Lou Correa, D-Calif., how he responds to those who argue that Biden could fix a lot of the border issues unilaterally.

"There's a lot of issues here, OK? There's some things he could do," he said. "I'm hoping that as soon as the Senate comes up with their deal, that we get at least a shot at looking at it, voting. I'm not sure if I'll support it. Give us a shot at voting on it."

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