Border Bill Fails in Senate

By Virginia Allen Published on February 8, 2024

The Senate’s $118 billion spending bill failed to advance past a procedural vote on the Senate floor Wednesday.  

The bill included funding for border-related measures, Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. The bill fell short of receiving the 60 votes needed to keep moving forward in the Senate.  

If the bill had passed in the Senate and gone on to pass in the House, it would have “codified Joe Biden’s open border,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said Wednesday on his podcast Verdict with Ted Cruz.

The bill would put the policy of catch and release “into law,” according to Cruz, which “normalized 5,000 illegal aliens [crossing the border] a day.”

The Senate’s 370-page bill includes about $20 billion in border-related spending and directs the Department of Homeland Security to close the southern border “during a period of seven consecutive calendar days, [if] there is an average of 5,000 or more aliens who are encountered each day.”   

President Joe Biden criticized Republicans for failing to advance the bill.

During a closed-door meeting with donors in New York Wednesday, CNN reports Biden said Republicans are “walking away [from the bill] because they’ve got [former President] Donald Trump calling and threatening them.” 

Trump was critical of the bill on Truth Social, writing, “Only a fool, or a Radical Left Democrat, would vote for this horrendous Border Bill.”

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Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., led the way in negotiating the terms of the bill with Democrats. Lankford was one of the few Republicans who voted in favor of advancing the border and foreign aid bill, along with Republican Reps. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, and Mitt Romney of Utah.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., voted against the bill in a procedural move that allows him to bring it back to the Senate floor for a vote later.  

Even if the Senate had successfully passed the bill, House Speaker Mike Johnson said Sunday that the bill was “dead on arrival” in the House. 

The Senator is voting Wednesday evening on whether to advance the same bill that only includes the funding for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, and is stripped of all border-related funding.

 

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