Republicans don’t actually want to do anything about southern border security. How do we know that? Because every time we’re on the verge of doing something with the border, they kick the can down the road.
The most recent border-security deal that Donald Trump blew up because he wants to use immigration as a wedge issue in his presidential campaign is the third dating back to 2013 that Republicans have blown up.
U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., was a key player in all three.
Kaine recounted the recent history of failed border-security deals in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday.
The 2013 effort, built around putting $45 billion into border security over the next 10 years, passed with a bipartisan 68-32 majority in the U.S. Senate, but the House, and then-Speaker Paul Ryan, didn’t even take up the bill.
In 2018, the Senate worked out a deal for $25 billion in border security, which was exactly the amount that Trump, then, obviously, as president, had asked for, together with a path forward for Dreamers, which Trump said he supported.
“We put the deal together over months of negotiation, we introduced it with eight Democratic and Republican co-sponsors, we were on path to probably getting north of 70 votes in the Senate, the Democratic House was posed poised to pass it as well,” Kaine said. “But once the deal hit the table, and despite saying that he would sign the deal, President Trump did a 180, he decided that he would support nothing for Dreamers after repeatedly saying he would. And he killed the deal, including the $25 billion in border security.”
And then there’s what happened this week. Trump, who isn’t even in office, isn’t even his party’s presidential nominee – for god’s sake, the guy is facing four criminal indictments, 91 criminal charges, hundreds of millions of dollars in judgments – bullied Republicans into backing away from a border security deal that, yes, had bipartisan support.
“What you see with President Trump, he ain’t a dealmaker,” Kaine said. “When he was president, he said it was infrastructure week every week, and nothing happened. You had an opportunity to do big border-security investments, and couldn’t take yes for an answer. He’s not going to get anything done if he were to have the chance to be president again. He just is all mouth and no action on this. And sadly, the Republicans go along with it. And I’m deeply disappointed, disappointed, really, to the point of being kind of outraged, that the people who are elected to legislate here are so afraid of President Trump’s tweets that they melt away at the first sign that they’ve made him unhappy.”
It really is remarkable that the so-called Grand Old Party has sold its soul to a guy who doesn’t even know what he wants to do on anything of consequence from one day to the next.
This is what losing election after election will do to a political party, it seems.
They see a guy who has a chance of winning, they’ll do anything if it means political power.
In the meantime, the can keeps getting kicked down the road on issues like border security, because Republicans would rather have a crisis to solve than actually doing anything to solve a crisis.
“When you look at what’s happening at the border now, I continually find myself wondering if we had done the deal in 2013 and invested $45 billion in border security, the situation would look a lot different now. If we had done the deal in 2018 and invested $25 billion in border security, the situation would look a lot different now. But in both instances, first the Republican House, and then President Trump, killed the border security proposals,” Kaine said.
“So here we are right now, at the verge of doing a comprehensive and bipartisan border security deal that’s validated by these groups, we were proposing to spend $18 billion on this, and not over 10 years, it would be an immediate investment of $18 billion in border security. And President Trump decides he’s against it, and he makes plain he doesn’t want to have Joe Biden get a win.”