With the southern border crisis still raging, Democrats are scrambling to put together a last-minute bill that drastically reforms current immigration and asylum laws. Yet even with the mid-term elections looming, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is optimistic that he can get the legislation passed in the Senate.
Schumer expressed confidence on Monday during an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that the bill, which includes foreign aid to Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan, as well as stricter immigration and asylum policies, will be able to garner bipartisan support and pass in the Senate.
But while the bill may have some moderate support, it is facing strong opposition from hard-right Republicans and House leadership. Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., wasted no time in denouncing the legislation, declaring it “dead on arrival” if it reaches the House.
And he’s not the only one. House Minority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana and other top Republicans have also spoken out against the bill, citing its lack of comprehensive solutions to the border crisis and its potential to incentivize more illegal immigration.
In fact, the top four House Republican leaders released a joint statement on Monday, vowing that the bill would not make it past their chamber. They argued that the bill fails to address necessary reforms, gives too much discretion to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and uses taxpayer funds to provide services to illegal immigrants.
He also pointed out that House Republicans may face pressure from within their own caucus to pass the bill if it makes it through the Senate. He believes that House Speaker Johnson’s current opposition is just a show to appease former President Donald Trump, who has been vocal against the bipartisan package.
Chuck Schumer reminds everyone that House and Senate Democrats have been blocking the House-passed Secure the Border Act – which would secure the border and end the crisis – for over 270 days. pic.twitter.com/DA4dGWgAhU
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) February 5, 2024
Despite Schumer’s confidence, it seems that Republican senators are already lining up against the bill. Senator Steve Daines of Montana, a member of GOP leadership, announced his rejection on social media, stating that he “can’t support a bill that doesn’t secure the border.”
Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah have also made their stance clear, calling the bill “INSANE” and “a betrayal of the American people,” respectively. Even Senate Minority Whip John Thune and former Republican whip John Cornyn have remained silent, potentially signaling their opposition.
.@SenSchumer threatens to send U.S. troops to fight Russia unless Republicans agree to his $100 billion world-aid bill:
“If we don’t aid Ukraine, Putin will be walk all over Ukraine, we will lose the war & we could be fighting in eastern Europe & a NATO ally in a few years.… pic.twitter.com/run7FcvwRN
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) February 5, 2024
It’s clear that the bipartisan immigration and asylum bill is facing an uphill battle in the Senate, and even if it manages to pass, it will most likely be shot down in the House. With the mid-term elections fast approaching, Democrats may need to reevaluate their strategy and come up with a more effective solution to the border crisis. But for now, Schumer is holding onto hope, as he believes that history will judge those who support the bill favorably.