Rep. John Duarte (R-Calif.) explained his decision to vote against the GOP’s border bill that the House passed mostly along party lines, saying he did so to support working families and agriculture.
Duarte was one of two Republicans, along with Rep. Thomas Massie (Ky.), that chose to vote against the bill.
The House passed the bill in a 219-213 vote on Thursday, with all but the two Republicans in favor and all Democrats opposed. The legislation calls for completing former President Trump’s wall on the southern border and implementing additional restrictions on access to asylum.
The California lawmaker told NewsNation in an interview on Friday that he “completely” supports working to secure the southern border but said he wanted to show working families in his district that he is advocating for them.
He added that he also wanted to push for members of both parties to reach a compromise that can pass in the Senate, where Democrats have a narrow majority.
“What I really wanted to do with my vote is to show that the working families in our districts and agriculture in our district, that they do have an advocate in Congress for them and to raise my hand and invite those from the other party and moderates from the Republican Party to come together on a bipartisan immigration compromise that can actually pass the Senate and provides border security,” he said.
Duarte explained after the vote that he opposed the legislation because it would hurt many families that work in his district and “create difficulties” for food producers. He added that the bill would be “dead on arrival” in the Senate and argued that the House “could do better” than the current bill.
“I understand that my vote will not be popular among some fellow Republicans, but I am committed to upholding my promise to put working families ahead of Washington party politics,” he said.
Massie said he opposed the bill because of a provision that would establish a nationally mandated E-Verify, a government system that employers can use to determine if someone is eligible to work in the United States.
The border bill came on the heels of the expiration of Title 42 — a controversial policy put in place by the Trump administration that allowed for the rapid expulsion of asylum seekers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The rule’s end on Thursday has sparked concerns about a surge of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Source: The Hill
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