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Trump calls Senate border bill 'horrendous,' a GOP 'death wish'

Although the legislation was touted as bipartisan, some Senate Republicans also criticized the bill. 

Published: February 5, 2024 11:41am

Updated: February 5, 2024 12:14pm

Former President Donald Trump said Monday that the long-awaited Senate border bill released this past weekend makes Democrats look like they properly handled the border while pinning the crisis on Republicans.

"Only a fool, or a Radical Left Democrat, would vote for this horrendous Border Bill, which only gives Shutdown Authority after 5000 Encounters a day, when we already have the right to CLOSE THE BORDER NOW, which must be done," Trump wrote on Truth Social one day after the Senate released the text of its $118 billion security bill.

The bipartisan bill would mandate a border shutdown if illegal immigration reaches more than 5,000 over a five-day average. In December, the most recent month for which data is available, Customs and Border Protection reported more than 9,700 illegal immigrant encounters daily.

"This Bill is a great gift to the Democrats, and a Death Wish for The Republican Party. It takes the HORRIBLE JOB the Democrats have done on Immigration and the Border, absolves them, and puts it all squarely on the shoulders of Republicans. Don’t be STUPID!!!" Trump also wrote. "The Democrats broke Immigration and the Border. They should fix it."

The former president also stressed that Congress should pass a border bill independently from any legislation about foreign aid, even though the newest bill allocates more than $60 billion to Ukraine, among other places. 

Security is likely to be one of the top issues ahead of the 2024 election, and congressional negotiations have been underscored by a likely Trump-Biden rematch this fall.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., also criticized the proposal and pledged that it would not pass his chamber. 

"I’ve seen enough. This bill is even worse than we expected, and won’t come close to ending the border catastrophe the President has created," Johnson wrote Sunday evening on X, formerly Twitter. "As the lead Democrat negotiator proclaimed: Under this legislation, 'the border never closes.' If this bill reaches the House, it will be dead on arrival."

The House has been struggling to reach a deal with the Senate that would secure funding for both the border and foreign aid. 

Other congressional Republicans also criticized the 370-page bill.

"Even the so-called 'border deal' that was released last night gives 3X as much to Ukraine as it does to our border," Rep. Eli Crane, R-Ariz., wrote on X. "The Swamp’s priorities are disgustingly out-of-whack."

Although the legislation was touted as bipartisan, some Senate Republicans also criticized the bill. 

"The 'border' bill released tonight includes an eye-popping $1.4B for NGOs to resettle illegal aliens in your communities," Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., said on X. "This is more of our tax dollars being used to buy off Democrat sanctuary city mayors. This is the 'border security' Democrats really want."

Follow Madeleine Hubbard on X or Instagram.

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