(WatchDogReport.org) – Negotiators in the Senate finally unveiled the blueprints for a long-awaited agreement on border security between the United States and Mexico and help for Ukraine on Sunday. The overall amount would be $118 billion, or $14 billion more than Biden had initially proposed.
In a statement released Sunday night, President Biden lauded the bipartisan border agreement and urged Congress to act quickly in passing and signing the law. Biden expressed his enthusiastic support for the measure, saying the most stringent and equitable border regulations in decades are now a part of a bipartisan national security accord.
According to Biden, Senate and administration officials worked “around the clock” to find an agreement. At this point, he was waiting for the House Republicans to make a decision.
Republican Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma, Democrat Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, and Independent Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona spearheaded the months-long discussions that resulted in the 370-page border measure.
The pact eliminates the practice of “catch and release,” giving the government the power to seal the border to many migrants when their crossings exceed a certain level, speeds up the asylum claim processing, and raises criteria for screening.
Additional border funding, help to Israel and Ukraine, and other foreign policy initiatives are all part of the legislation package.
Although Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has promised to hold a floor vote on the measure this week, its fate in the House is uncertain because Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) has previously referred to the possible agreement as “dead on arrival.”
Sens. Chris Murphy (D–CT), Kyrsten Sinema (I–AZ), and conservative James Lankford (R–OK) were the measure’s negotiators, and both the Majority Leader and Minority Leader of the Senate, Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell, respectively, endorsed it.
At the Las Vegas event, Biden took aim at Republican legislators, saying they should have strengthened border security but instead blew a golden opportunity.
After acknowledging that there is a severe shortage of immigration judges and border officers, Biden boldly claimed that he had been working tirelessly for years to solve the problem — despite all evidence to the contrary.
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