July 15, 2024
Schumer Cynically Pushes Failed Border Bill in Election-Year Political Stunt

Schumer Cynically Pushes Failed Border Bill in Election-Year Political Stunt

(Headline USA) Democrats performatively pushed a dead-on-arrival bill that would have allocated more funding to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in his effort to more efficiently process illegal immigrants coming into the United States.

The legislation, which failed for a second time after an earlier attempt in February, would have done very little to curtail the issue of illegal immigration, but would have given the gaslighting Biden administration bogus talking points to claim they had addressed the problem when, in fact, their open-border policies are directly responsible for it.

While most Americans saw through the hollow election-year ploy, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., nonetheless spun the vote as if Republicans were to blame for the border crisis that has allowed an estimated 11 million illegals into the country on President Joe Biden’s watch.

“We gave Republicans a second chance to show where they stand,” Schumer claimed after all but one Republican, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, voted against it.

Stunningly, the 73-year-old New Yorker couldn’t help but convey his contempt for the American people as he undertook the show vote, his voice dripping with sardonic derision that undercut his sudden apparent concern for a bipartisan solution.

“Do they want to fix this so-called emergency or do they want to show blind allegiance to the former president even when they know he’s wrong?” Schumer sneered.

Although Democrats may be dishonest about what is in the bill and what its actual impact would be, Schumer has, in fact, been remarkably candid about his true motivations for brining it back to the floor.

He is trying to defend a narrow Senate majority in this year’s election and sees the Republican’s rejection of the deal that a handful of RINOs helped to negotiate as a political “gift” for Democrats.

Seeking to highlight Republican resistance to popular measures, Schumer is also planning to push forward a bill in June that would protect access to “contraception,” which it broadly defines as any “an action taken to prevent pregnancy.”

That, presumably, would be a back-door attempt at a federal abortion mandate. (Headline USA reached out to Schumer’s press secretary for comment and will follow up accordingly.)

The Democratic leader said it would “show the public who’s on what side and in June we’re going to spend a significant amount of time talking about reproductive rights.”

When the immigration proposal was brought up in February, the test vote failed 49-50—well shy of the 60 votes needed to advance.

This time, not even some of the bill’s primary authors—Sens. James Lankford, an Oklahoma Republican, and Kyrsten Sinema, an Arizona independent—voted for Schumer’s move.

“Today is not a bill, today is a prop,” Lankford said on the floor ahead of the vote. “Everyone sees it for what it is.”

Sinema called the vote “political theater” that will do nothing to solve problems at the border.

“To use this failure as a political punching bag only punishes those who were courageous enough to do the hard work in the first place,” she said.

Republican leaders spent much of the week decrying the vote as a bald-faced political maneuver and reiterating that ownership of the border crisis rested entirely with Biden Democrats.

“We’re nearing the end of President Biden’s term, and the American people’s patience for his failing to secure the southern border is running thin,” Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Thursday.

Earlier in the week, McConnell told reporters, “The president needs to step up to it—do everything he can do on his own because legislation is obviously not going to clear this year.”

The Biden administration claims it has been considering executive orders on border policy and immigration—a dramatic departure from its early days, when it swiftly repealed the executive actions taken under the Trump administration and actively fought them in court.

Biden recently made some changes to the asylum system meant to speed up processing and potential removal of migrants.

Borrowing from Trump’s playbook, the Democratic president has considered using a provision in federal immigration law that gives leeway to block entry of certain immigrants into the U.S. if it would be “detrimental” to the national interest of the United States.

Mayorkas told reporters Monday that Senate legislation would provide more money for Customs and Border Protection officials, asylum officers, immigration judges and scanning technology at the border—all things that officials have said the underfunded immigration and border protection system needs.

“The legislation provides tools that executive action cannot,” Mayorkas said.

Even before the bill was fully released earlier this year, Trump effectively killed the proposal by labeling it “meaningless” and a “gift” for Biden’s reelection chances. Top Republicans soon followed his lead and even McConnell, who had initially demanded the negotiation over the border measures, voted against moving forward.

A significant number of Democrats have also criticized the proposal, mostly because it does not include any broad relief for immigrants who have already established lives in the United States. On the left, four Democrats, as well as Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., voted against advancing the bill.

“It fails to address the root causes of migration or to establish more lawful pathways,” said Sen. Alex Padilla, a California Democrat.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus said in a statement this week that the Senate’s bill “fails to meet the moment by putting forth enforcement-only policies and failing to include provisions that will keep families together.”

They have urged executive actions that would provide protections from deportation for immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for years or who have family ties to U.S. citizens.

Amid the tension, Biden’s reelection campaign met with CHC leadership Wednesday to discuss outreach to Latino communities, and Biden spoke on the phone with Rep. Nanette Barragán, the chair of the group. She discussed the reasons for the group’s opposition, according to a person familiar with the call who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the private conversation.

Schumer said that if Democrats win majorities in the Senate and House next year, he wants to advance “comprehensive immigration reform.”

Still, for Democratic senators facing tough reelection battles this year, the vote Thursday provided another opportunity to show they were supportive of stronger border measures, as well as distance themselves from Biden’s handling of the border.

As Sen. Jon Tester attempts to hold a Democratic seat in the red-leaning state of Montana, he said in a statement, “This common sense bill would push back on the Biden administration’s failed border policies by forcing the president to shut down the border, strengthen our asylum laws, and end catch and release.”

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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