Home Senate Republicans block border-security bill, preserving immigration as issue for Trump

Senate Republicans block border-security bill, preserving immigration as issue for Trump

Chris Graham
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Senate Republicans voted in near-lockstep Thursday to prevent a bipartisan border-security bill from going to the floor for an up-or-down vote.

The bill got a 50-43 majority in a test vote on Thursday, but that 50-vote mark fell well short of the 60 votes that were needed to get the measure out for a full vote.

The other issue with the bill, of course, would be, even if it had gotten a floor vote and ultimately passed in the Senate, there’d be no chance that it would see the light of day in the House, whose leaders skipped work last week to schlump for Donald Trump outside the Manhattan courthouse where the disgraced ex-president is facing 34 felony charges related to his effort to subvert the 2016 election.

“Democrats tried to bring this bill up for a vote back in February, but Republicans abandoned it after Donald Trump said he wanted to use this issue as a political talking point. This deal isn’t perfect, but it represents bipartisan consensus on a critical issue,” said U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va.

The legislation, negotiated by Chris Murphy, D-Conn., Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., and James Lankford, R-Okla., would increase law enforcement personnel, immigration judge teams, and asylum officers, and provide funding to deploy more inspection machines to detect fentanyl at ports of entry at the southern border.

On that last point, according to the CDC, over 72,000 Americans died of a fentanyl overdose in 2022, and according to the Virginia Department of Health, nearly 2,000 Virginians died of a fentanyl overdose in that same year – an increase from 50 fentanyl overdose deaths in Virginia in 2012.

But, you know, Trump wants a campaign issue to run on.

“This failed vote is the epitome of Washington dysfunction: after years of bellyaching about the situation at the U.S. southern border, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have shut down a border bill authored by a member of their very own party,” U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said.

“It’s been nearly 40 years since Congress last reformed our immigration system, and it shows. The dysfunction at the border, the illegal movement of fentanyl through our ports of entry, the broken system in place for fearful asylum seekers – it’s a shame that Congress would turn down the opportunity to tackle all of these challenges today with the first real bipartisan immigration compromise we’ve seen in over a decade,” Warner said.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham, the king of "fringe media," is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].