Senate Republicans block bipartisan border deal

Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked a long-awaited bipartisan border package after top GOP lawmakers shared opposition to the measure.

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The package needed 60 votes to move forward. It was defeated in a 49-50 vote, with most Republicans and a handful of Democrats rejecting the bill, according to The Washington Post.

The deal was opposed by former President Donald Trump and other top Republicans, who said it fell short. House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., called it “dead on arrival” ahead of Wednesday’s vote.

The package, which also included $60 billion in aid for Ukraine and $14 billion for Israel, was the product of negotiations between President Joe Biden’s team and senators on both sides of the aisle. The president shared his support for the measure over the weekend, saying that it “includes the toughest and fairest set of border reforms in decades.”

The bill also won the support of the National Border Patrol Council, a union that represents about 18,000 Border Patrol agents and support personnel, according to the Arizona Republic. In a statement obtained by KVOA, National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd said the bill would have given agents “authorities codified, in law, that we have not had in the past.”

“This will allow us to remove single adults expeditiously and without a lengthy judicial review which historically has required the release of these individuals into the interior of the United States,” he said. “This alone will drop illegal border crossings nationwide and will allow our agents to get back to detecting and apprehending those who want to cross our borders illegally and evade apprehension.”

Before Wednesday’s vote, Trump urged Republicans to vote against the border bill. In a social media post on Monday, he called it “a highly sophisticated trap for Republicans” aimed at allowing Democrats to blame them for issues at the border.

“This Bill is a great gift to the Democrats, and a Death Wish for The Republican Party,” he added in a subsequent post.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that he plans to next force a procedural vote on a separate aid package for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan, CNN reported. It was not immediately clear whether the bill would have enough votes to move forward.

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