WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the bipartisan border deal, a product of months of negotiations, crashed and burned in the Senate. Both sides are pointing the finger at one another as frustration grows on Capitol Hill.
“We’re governing here. Sometimes it’s messy,” said House Speaker Mike Johnson (R- LA) when speaking to reporters Wednesday morning.
“The House is in chaos,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D- NY).
The border security deal was part of a $118 billion national security supplemental package that included $60 billion for Ukraine, just over $14 billion in security assistance for Israel and $10 billion for humanitarian assistance for civilians in Gaza, the West Bank and Ukraine.
Democrats point to former President Donald Trump for leading the charge to kill the bipartisan deal in an attempt to score political points.
“Donald Trump wants chaos. Donald Trump does not want success at the border. He wants chaos and if he became president, I doubt he’d ever solve it,” said Schumer. “It doesn’t behoove the Speaker well to block everything because 30 hard right-wing people just want chaos like Donald Trump does,” he added.
The border deal received the endorsement of the National Border Patrol Council. Lawmakers who also supported it say neither side walked away from the final product happy. They say it would’ve at least provided something tangible to address the crisis as opposed to nothing.
Many House Republicans say the bill was flawed from the beginning.
“Next best isn’t necessarily good enough,” said Rep. Jack Bergman (R- MI). “This doesn’t even begin to stem the negative tide of activity that we need to. “It’s a negotiated middle ground, it’s the middle ground over a sinkhole and it’s going to go right down the tube.”
Senators who penned the bill say it would have provided some of the most comprehensive policy changes to reduce illegal crossings in decades.
“The Border Emergency Authority and our border bill would have shut the border down literally every single day this year,” said Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I- AZ) before the Senate voted the bill down. “A vote against this bill is a vote for the status quo. It is a vote for continued chaos at our border,” Sinema added.
Now that the border bill is dead, the Senate may still move forward with the aid for Israel, Ukraine and others. However, the concept of a combine supplemental security package continues to face opposition from many House Republicans, who say they want a standalone aid bill for Israel.
“Israel desperately needs the assistance, everyone knows that. Things have changed pretty dramatically since we passed that first Israel package in the House three months ago. Everyone knows the tensions have escalated and we need to support it there,” said Speaker Mike Johnson.