Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is reportedly urging fellow Republicans in the Senate to reject a border bill proposed by Democrats in the House. The $118 billion package has faced criticism from House Republicans, who argue that it is designed to boost President Joe Biden’s chances of re-election in a potential 2024 rematch against former President Donald Trump. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has gone further, claiming that the bill effectively “legalizes illegal immigration.”
Numerous Republican senators have already expressed strong opposition to the bill, prompting McConnell to recommend a unified rejection within the party. Behind closed doors, McConnell reportedly advised GOP senators to block the bill, emphasizing that the prevailing sentiment among Republicans is to either oppose the legislation or seek additional time for deliberation. According to reports, McConnell attributed the opposition not to the specifics negotiated by Senator James Lankford but rather to a perceived shift in the country’s political mood.
The bill faced immediate resistance in the House, with leading Republicans signaling that it would be swiftly dismissed if it reached the lower chamber. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN), and Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) issued a joint statement, outlining various flaws in the proposed legislation. They argued that the bill fails to address key policy areas needed for border security, expands work authorizations for illegal immigrants without incorporating essential asylum reforms, and endorses the Biden administration’s “catch and release” policy.
The House Republicans further criticized the bill’s shortcomings, including loopholes in the proposed shutdown authority, potential abuse of discretionary powers by Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and inadequate measures to curb the president’s parole authority abuse. They contended that the bill, as currently drafted, jeopardizes America’s sovereignty and insisted that any consideration of the Senate bill in its present form would be a futile effort. The statement concluded with a strong recommendation for the U.S. Senate to reject the bill, affirming that it is “dead on arrival” in the House. This conservative perspective underscores Republican opposition to the border bill, highlighting concerns about its implications on immigration policies and border security.