Bipartisan border bill fails to advance in Senate for second time

Migrants from Venezuela cross the Rio Grande to surrender to the border patrol with the intention of requesting asylum in the United States.

A bipartisan border security bill failed to advance on the Senate floor on Thursday for a second time. Republicans first blocked earlier this year after former President Donald Trump came out publicly against it; the measure fell short in a 43 to 50 vote, which need the 60 votes needed to advance in the upper chamber.

The bill, negotiated by a bipartisan group of senators, was already rejected by most Republicans in February when it was linked to a foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel and other US allies. Republicans have argued that the president already has the power to stop the flow of migrants across the U.S.-Mexico border, claiming that the bipartisan deal to expand his authority would do little. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said Thursday in a floor speech that “unfortunately, it doesn’t matter what law is on the books if the administration is not going to enforce the ones that already exist.”

Democrats, on the other hand, have attempted to use Republicans’ opposition to the bill in order to shift public opinion in their favor, as voters have been critical of President Biden’s handling of immigration. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday afternoon that “the contrast between Democrats and Republicans is clear today and will be even clearer in November. Democrats want to fix the border and get something done. Republicans want to give speeches, let the border fester and do absolutely nothing to fix the problem.”

In a statement after Thursday’s vote, President Biden said Republicans “put partisan politics ahead of our country’s national security .. Congressional Republicans do not care about securing the border or fixing America’s broken immigration system. If they did, they would have voted for the toughest border enforcement in history,” Biden said, adding that he is “committed to taking action to address our broken immigration system.”

Editorial credit: David Peinado Romero /

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