Top Senate Republicans Split Over Border Security Deal

(Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

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Mary Lou Masters Contributor
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Top Senate Republicans are divided over the long-awaited border and foreign security deal that was announced on Sunday.

Republican Conference Chairman John Barrasso announced his opposition to the deal on Tuesday in a statement obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation. Senate Minority Whip John Thune and Sen. John Cornyn, both of which are possibly in line with Barrasso to succeed Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have yet to say whether they would back the bill, according to Politico.

“The proposed legislation does not meet most Americans’ standard of securing our border now. It doesn’t force the Biden administration to end its abuse of current law. It leaves in place a number of the Democrat-created incentives that are fueling the crisis,” Barrasso said in a statement. “President Biden and Senator Schumer will never accept the significant changes required for American safety and border security. Joe Biden will never enforce any new law and refuses to use the tools he already has today to end this crisis. I cannot vote for this bill. Americans will turn to the upcoming election to end the border crisis.”

However, Cornyn, who has previously expressed interest in succeeding McConnell, said in a statement provided to the DCNF that he has “questions and serious concerns” regarding the deal now that the text has become available. (RELATED: ‘An Absolute Non-Starter’: House Republicans Vow To Tank Senate Border Bill)

The border proposals, included within the larger $118 billion national security supplemental package, would fund new immigration judges and law enforcement operations, as well as other provisions aimed at curbing the mass influx of illegal migrants. The package was negotiated by GOP Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut and independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.

McConnell had been a supporter of the border and national security package, but reportedly told Senators to block the legislation in its procedural vote on Wednesday due to its apparent lack of support, according to Punchbowl News.

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 04: (L-R) Sen. John Barasso (R-WY), Sen. John Thune (R-SD), Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) talk prior to a press conference on a proposed Democratic tax plan, at the U.S. Capitol on August 04, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Senators spoke out on the tax proposal saying that it will hurt job growth and the middle class. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 04: (L-R) Sen. John Barasso (R-WY), Sen. John Thune (R-SD), Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) talk prior to a press conference on a proposed Democratic tax plan, at the U.S. Capitol. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

One of the key provisions of the border deal would place a limit on the amount of migrants coming into the country illegally via an emergency authority to summarily remove them once the week-long average exceeds 5,000 individuals per day. The provision expires after the two-week average if such entries decrease to 3,750 individuals per day.

This provision sparked widespread backlash among Republicans who claimed the bill wouldn’t end the continuation of illegal immigration into the U.S.

Former President Donald Trump expressed his opposition to the deal in a Truth Social post on Monday, declaring that it is “a “great gift to the Democrats, and a Death Wish for The Republican Party.”

Both Barrasso and Cornyn, the former Senate majority whip, have endorsed Trump’s 2024 campaign, while Thune has said he’d support the former president if he’s the nominee.

House GOP leadership has also strongly come out against the legislation, with Speaker Mike Johnson declaring it “dead on arrival.”

Thune did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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