Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Democrats Might Be Willing to Accept a Compromise on the Border

Joe Biden asked Congress to appropriate $106 billion for Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan, and the border. Nearly all Democrats are fine with aid to Ukraine and Taiwan, most are fine with aid to Israel, but many have problems with beefing up border security. All Republicans are fine with aid to Israel and Taiwan and beefing up border security, and some are OK with aid to Ukraine. Getting everyone on board with everything is tricky. However, enough Democrats are now considering reducing immigration that a bill with funding for all four items might be able to pass Congress with mostly Democratic and some Republican votes. That seems to be the current direction.

Even pro-Putin Republicans who don't want to help Ukraine don't want to vote against more money for border security, lest that be a millstone around their necks in the primaries next year. Democrats who are afraid of being battered on border security in the general election are warming to a bill that might immunize them against attacks that they are for open borders. For example, Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), whose state does border on a foreign country, albeit to the north rather than to the south, said: "Look, I think the border needs some attention. I am one that thinks it doesn't hurt." Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and some other Democratic senators are with Tester on this.

The battle is about asylum. Republicans believe that anyone who shows up at the border and says: "I am in danger in my country" gets in. They want to stop this. They also don't want acceptance of the "dreamers" to be part of the discussion. But increasingly many Democrats are coming to realize that if they are to get a bill, they are going to have to give up some of their priorities. Otherwise the votes won't be there. But groups that support immigrants and immigration don't want any backsliding among Democrats here, even if it means no aid to Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan.

Getting to 60 votes in the Senate and 218 in the House will be tough; many Democrats are going to have to give up some top priorities and swallow hard to get anything at all. Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA) is working to get some kind of path to citizenship for the dreamers in the bill, but Republicans don't want it. Maybe if he were to agree to a 10-year path for dreamers who had a clean record (and had never taken any form of welfare) or had served in the military or law enforcement, he could get enough Republican votes, but it won't be easy.

Still, Democrats who want to help Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan are probably going to have to accept less immigration as the price for nine Republican votes in the Senate and five in the House. They are starting to realize this and deal with it. (V)

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