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Biden: GOP threw Lankford 'overboard' on border deal

President Biden on Wednesday said Republicans threw Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) “overboard” after torpedoing a border security bill the Oklahoma Republican helped craft.

“They really threw the man overboard,” Biden told donors at a New York City fundraiser.

The president echoed comments from a day earlier, when he argued former President Trump was to blame for the bipartisan immigration deal falling apart in the face of GOP opposition.

“Trump decided that it was something that would help me and hurt him. To take away an issue. So what did he do? … He got on the phone and called people and said, if you do this there will be retribution,” Biden said.

Senate Republicans earlier Wednesday blocked a procedural motion to begin debate on a national security bill that included $20 billion for border security. It would have given the federal government temporary authority to expel migrants when the average number of daily crossings exceeded a set threshold, ended “catch and release,” raised standards for asylum screenings and allowed officials to process claims more quickly, among other provisions.

The bill also included $60 billion in funding for Ukraine in its war against Russia, $14.1 billion for Israel in its fight against Hamas and aid for Indo-Pacific allies, mirroring a proposal the White House made to Congress late last year, shortly after the start of the Israel-Hamas war.

The effort was led by Lankford, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.).

“The key aspect of this, again, is are we, as Republicans, going to have press conferences and complain the border’s bad and then intentionally leave it open after the worst month in American history in December?” Lankford said Monday.

The bill had the backing of the National Border Patrol Council — the border patrol union that endorsed Trump in 2020 — as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

But Trump, the likely GOP nominee in November’s election, had urged Republicans to oppose the measure, arguing it would be politically problematic for the party. GOP lawmakers widely came out in opposition, with some claiming the bill did not do enough to address immigration.

Democrats have for weeks argued Republicans in Congress were rejecting any compromise on the border because it could be a political win for Biden in an election year. Trump has repeatedly hammered Biden on the flow of migrants at the southern border, and polling has shown voters trust Trump more on immigration and the border.

Source: The Hill

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