House GOP leaders are formally announcing their opposition to the bipartisan border security deal revealed by the Senate on Sunday.
Republican support for the measure has been dissipating by the hour as more high-profile GOP lawmakers add their voices to the chorus of criticism.
“House Republicans oppose the Senate immigration bill because it fails in every policy area needed to secure our border and would actually incentivize more illegal immigration,” Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La.; Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La.; Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., and GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., said in a joint statement Monday.
“Among its many flaws, the bill expands work authorizations for illegal aliens while failing to include critical asylum reforms. Even worse, its language allowing illegals to be ‘released from physical custody’ would effectively endorse the Biden ‘catch and release’ policy.”
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They also claimed the bill gave too much authority to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who House Republicans aim to impeach this week.
“The so-called ‘shutdown’ authority in the bill is anything but, riddled with loopholes that grant far too much discretionary authority to Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas – who has proven he will exploit every measure possible, in defiance of the law, to keep the border open,” House leadership said. “The bill also fails to adequately stop the President’s abuse of parole authority and provides for taxpayer funds to fly and house illegal immigrants in hotels through the FEMA Shelter and Services Program.”
They reiterated prior calls for the Senate to take up H.R.2, the border security bill House Republicans passed last summer. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has panned that bill as a nonstarter.
“That bill contains the necessary components to actually stem the flow of illegals and end the present crisis. The Senate must take it up immediately. America’s sovereignty is at stake,” the Republicans said.
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“Any consideration of this Senate bill in its current form is a waste of time. It is DEAD on arrival in the House. We encourage the U.S. Senate to reject it.”
The 370-page border and security supplemental funding bill would, if passed, grant President Biden the authority to temporarily shut down the border. It would also raise the threshold for migrants to claim asylum while also speeding up the process by which those claims are adjudicated.
The bill also includes a total of 250,000 new visas over five years and a legal pathway to citizenship for Afghans who fled to the U.S. when Kabul fell to the Taliban.
But many Republican lawmakers are saying that it does not go far enough to secure the border, citing the record-shattering number of migrants encountered at the southern border since 2021.
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Several key GOP lawmakers have come out against the bill since the text was revealed Sunday, potentially putting its passage in peril.
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That includes Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., chairman of House Republicans’ campaign arm and a member of Senate GOP leadership, who said on Monday, “With House Republicans united in opposition to this bill, it makes no sense to even bring it up in the Senate…I will vote no when the bill is brought to the Senate floor this week.”
At least a dozen GOP senators are also publicly opposed to the bill, which Schumer said will get a vote this week.