Top Senate Republican will oppose bipartisan border security package


The No. 3 Senate Republican has joined a growing chorus of GOP lawmakers opposed to a bipartisan border security and foreign aid package.

Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said he will not vote for the $118 billion border and immigration deal, which would also provide aid for Israel and Ukraine. 

“The proposed legislation does not meet most Americans’ standard of securing our border now. It doesn’t force the Biden administration to end its abuse of current law,” said Barasso, who is up for reelection in November.  

“Joe Biden will never enforce any new law and refuses to use the tools he already has today to end this crisis. I cannot vote for this bill. Americans will turn to the upcoming election to end the border crisis,” he said.

SEN. TIM SCOTT A ‘HADES NO’ ON SENATE BORDER, IMMIGRATION DEAL

Republican Whyoming Sen. John Barrasso

Sen. John Barrasso speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 19, 2023. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Senate negotiators released the $118 billion supplemental spending deal package late Sunday, which includes funding for Ukraine, Israel and approximately $20 billion in funding for border and immigration-related matters.

It includes a new border authority to allow Title 42-style expulsions when migration levels exceed 5,000 a day over a seven-day rolling average, narrows asylum eligibility while expediting the process, provides additional work permits for asylum seekers, and funds a massive increase in staffing at the border, in the immigration courts and asylum offices.

The foreign aid portion of the agreement includes $60 billion for Ukraine, $14.1 billion for Israel and aid for Indo-Pacific allies. 

But the deal faces huge backlash from conservatives, especially in the House and from Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., who called it “dead on arrival.” 

IMMIGRATION ACTIVISTS, LIBERAL SENATE DEMS TRASH BORDER DEAL OVER LACK OF AMNESTY FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS

migrant influx

Migrants flood into Eagle Pass, Texas, waiting to be processed. (Fox News)

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., has also promised the Senate bill will not receive a vote in the lower chamber. Scalise oversees the schedule in the House.

Senate negotiators, including Sens. James Lankford, R-Okla., and Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., had worked for months to put together a border security and foreign aid agreement. Republicans had demanded that any further funding for Ukraine be tied to legislation that would address the illegal immigrant crisis at the southern border. 

Proponents of the bipartisan deal say it would enact tougher and quicker enforcement measures to deal with the overwhelming number of asylum-seekers crossing the border illegally. According to the legislative text, if the number of illegal border crossings reaches above 5,000 daily for a five-day average, an expulsion authority would automatically kick in so that migrants are sent back to Mexico without an opportunity to make an asylum claim. If the number reaches 4,000, presidential administrations would have the option of using the expulsion authority.

But Republican critics say the 5,000 daily illegal crossings threshold is an invitation for that much illegal immigration. They also argue President Biden has the authority to secure the border now and does not need additional action from Congress. 

5 KEY DETAILS IN CONTROVERSIAL SENATE BORDER DEAL

Senators James Lankford and Kyrsten SInema

Sens. James Lankford and Kyrsten Sinema were key negotiators in the border security and foreign funding supplemental package deal.  (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Democrats have also criticized the bill for lacking a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. 

Barasso is the second member of GOP leadership in the Senate to publicly oppose the deal.

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Steve Daines, R-Mont., declared himself a “no” vote on Monday in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

“I can’t support a bill that doesn’t secure the border, provides taxpayer-funded lawyers to illegal immigrants and gives billions to radical open borders groups. I’m a no,” Daines wrote.

Others, including Sens. Tim Scott, R-S.C., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, have said they will not support the package.

 “I’m a Hades no,” Scott told Fox News Digital on Monday. 

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“I’m thankful that we are finally having a conversation about the border, but it’s the wrong one. It should be in a silo. We should be fixing and securing our southern border, and the president of the United States can do that right now,” Scott said.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said a vote on the package could come as early as Wednesday.

Fox News Digital’s Landon Mion, Jamie Joseph, Adam Shaw and Andrew Murray contributed to this report.



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