Republicans vow to oppose Israel, Ukraine package if it lacks U.S. border security measures
Sen. Marshall: "Senator Schumer, empty threats to force the Senate to work a full week does not scare us. The invasion at our border does." Schumer said he would discuss the border issue with Biden and Democratic leaders but he plans to hold a vote on a foreign aid package even if there isn't an agreement with Republicans on border security funding.
Senate Republicans are pushing back against Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's plan to put a Ukraine and Israel supplemental foreign aid package up for a vote without including measures to better secure the U.S.-Mexico border.
Republicans point to the record number of the U.S. Border Patrol's encounters with illegal immigrants at the border during President Biden's time in office.
A House Judiciary Committee report found that the Biden Administration has released 2.1 million illegal immigrants into the U.S. from the border as of March 2023.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans have been advocating for U.S. border security funding to be included in any foreign aid package that the Senate considers for Israel and Ukraine. McConnell also argued that border security funding does not mean providing Democrat mayors federal funds to handle the influx of illegal immigrants arriving in their cities but that policies need to be passed to secure the border.
Schumer and Biden's proposed package includes $61 billion for the war in Ukraine, $14 billion for Israel's war against Hamas, and $6 billion for humanitarian aid for Palestinian refugees.
In a letter circulated on Monday evening, Schumer wrote that Republicans were advocating for "partisan border policy," adding that he will move forward with a foreign aid package that doesn't include border-related measures.
Schumer argued that Republican support for H.R. 2, the "Secure the Border Act," jeopardizes the entire foreign assistance package. The bill passed the GOP-led House in May of this year. The Senate version of the bill has not been voted on yet in the Democratic-led chamber. The White House has said Biden opposes the bill.
Schumer said Senate Republicans should not insist on including H.R. 2 as a condition for the broader foreign aid package.
In response, McConnell said that "the single largest obstacle in the way of urgent resources to help Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan is Democrats' refusal to address the crisis at the southern border."
“National security begins here at home. And the sooner our colleagues admit it, the sooner the Senate can move forward on the urgent business before us," he said on the Senate floor.
Senate Republicans are pledging to vote against the Democrats' aid package without the border security measures that are included in H.R. 2.
"Senator Schumer, empty threats to force the Senate to work a full week does not scare us. The invasion at our border does," said Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Ks., Tuesday on the social media platform X.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, responded to Schumer characterizing the GOP’s support for tying border security measures to the foreign aid package as dangerous.
“What’s dangerous is spending hundreds of billions to secure Ukraine’s border while refusing to enforce our own,” Lee wrote on X.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Secure the Border Act would "require the Department of State to negotiate with countries in the Western Hemisphere, particularly El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, concerning agreements related to claims for asylum."
Under the bill, all U.S. employers would be required to use E-Verify, which is a "federal web-based system that allows public- and private-sector employers to confirm that employees are eligible to work in the United States."
The legislation would require DHS to "resume activities related to building a wall along the southwestern border of the United States, as planned or under construction before January 20, 2021."
On the House side, GOP lawmakers have said they would also oppose a foreign aid package without strong U.S. border security policies to address the crisis on the southern border.
"Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer, makes clear he wants to take no action to fix the border crisis. The House passed a border security bill back in May. It’s time for Schumer to pass what they can out of the Senate. Americans demand leadership here," Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., wrote Tuesday on X.
Schumer told reporters on Tuesday that he would discuss the border issue with Biden and Democratic leaders but he plans to hold a vote on a foreign aid package even if there isn't an agreement with Republicans on border security funding. The vote is expected to take place next week.
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., Senate president pro tempore, said that "compromise never means getting your dream bill." Murray said House Speaker Johnson, R-La., could join Senate Democrats at the negotiation table as long as he "leaves partisanship at the door."