Joe Biden
US President Joe Biden's AFP

President Joe Biden urged Congress to pass a bipartisan border security package on Tuesday, blasting his predecessor, Donald Trump, for opposition to it among many Republicans.

Speaking from the White House, Biden anticipated that "all indications are this bill won't even move forward to the Senate floor." "Why? A simple reason: Donald Trump. Because Donald Trump thinks it's bad for him politically."

Trump has been vocal about his opposition to the bill, saying that the party "shouldn't do any deal "at all, unless we get EVERYTHING." And it seems like his supporters have taken note, as several outlets reported that the bill is already at existential risk as the amount of Republicans speaking against it continues to increase.

NBC News reported that GOP senators left a closed-door meeting anticipating that the 25 votes that negotiators intend to get to move forward with the bill, part of a broader package that includes aid for Israel and Ukraine, won't be there on Wednesday, the projected date of the vote.

As opposition to the Wednesday vote continued to grow, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell gave senators the green light to oppose the Wednesday vote (a procedural motion toward debating the legislation) and continue discussing potential changes.

In another passage of his remarks, Biden said that Trump would "rather weaponize this issue than actually solve it" and that he's been told that, during the past day, Trump has reached out to Republicans in Congress "and threaten them and try to intimidate them to vote against this proposal."

Donald Trump/AFP
Former President Donald Trump AFP

"Looks like they're caving," Biden said. "Frankly, they owe it to the American people to show some spine, and do what they know to be right."

Other Democrats have been blasting Republicans for opposing the bill now. "Just gobsmacked. I've never seen anything like it. They literally demanded specific policy, got it, and then killed it," said Democratic Senator Brian Schatz, echoing the message given by many of his party colleagues.

The bill received a significant endorsement on Monday: the labor union representing the U.S. Border Patrol agents. Concretely, the National Border Patrol Council said the bill would "drop illegal border crossings nationwide and will allow our agents to get back to detecting and apprehending those who want to cross our border illegally and evade apprehension."

"While not perfect, the Border Act of 2024 is a step in the right direction and is far better than the current status quo," Brandon Judd, president of the council, said in the statement. "This is why the National Border Patrol Council endorses this bill and hopes for its quick passage."

The message gains more significant when considering that the group endorsed former President Donald Trump in 2020 and has repeatedly criticized the current administration's handling of the border.

Even if the bill does make it to and through the Senate, it faces and even steeper hill in the House, where several high-ranking Republicans have already voiced their opposition to it. Speaker Mike Johnson said that the bill is "even worse than we expected." "If this bill reaches the House, it will be dead on arrival," he added, repeating a phrase he had already used even before the language of the bill was released.

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise and House GOP conference chair Elise Stefanik made similar comments, with the former saying that the bill "will NOT receive a vote in the House" and the latter that it is an "absolute non-starter."

House Republicans presented a standalone bill providing $17.6 billion in aid to Israel (sidestepping Ukraine aid and the border bill), but the Biden administration strongly opposed it and said that the president would veto it if it reaches his desk.

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