Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Republicans Want to Talk about the Border

The key word in the headline is talk.. What the Republicans don't want to do is pass legislation dealing with the border. They want it to be available as a campaign issue so they can attack the Democrats on it. Back in February, a bill written by Sens. James Lankford (R-OK), Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) provided billions of dollars for the Border Patrol to better enforce existing immigration law. It also had money for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan in it. The bill had bipartisan support—until Donald Trump ordered Republican senators to oppose it because he wanted to keep the border open as a campaign issue. That killed the bill.

Now Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) plans to hold a vote today to move the bill to the floor. So far, no Republican senator has stated that he or she will vote to debate the bill. Not even Lankford, who largely wrote the bill. Lankford said about his own bill: "This is not trying to accomplish something. This is about messaging now. This is trying to poke Republicans rather than try to actually solve a problem." His own bill. This makes it crystal clear to anyone actually following politics that Republicans have no interest at all in sealing the border as that would destroy a potent campaign issue. Fortunately for Republicans, few people actually follow politics.

Even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who championed the bill earlier this year, is now against it. He has advised Joe Biden to use XOs to stem the flow of immigrants, even though McConnell knows very well that XOs won't do the job. After all, he doesn't want the job done. Three Republicans who voted for the bill in February are now against it. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) called it "an entirely political ploy." Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said: "I think the whole thing is dumb." Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) said: "It's hard to determine whether this is a genuine attempt to deal with border security." Maybe she should check with Lankford. As is well known, in the 4 years preceding a presidential election, it is impossible to pass any legislation, even if the parties actually agree on it.

And now that the Ukraine money is no longer in the bill, some Democrats may balk this time, as well as all Republicans. So, maybe Schumer will rethink his plans. (V)

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