As border security deal falters, Joe Biden puts blame squarely on Donald Trump

President Joe Biden blasted former President Donald Trump on Tuesday during remarks in the State Dining Room at the White House, as a bipartisan border bill appears to be headed for defeat. The president said Donald Trump "would rather weaponize the issue than actually solve it." Photo by Annabelle Gordon/UPI
President Joe Biden blasted former President Donald Trump on Tuesday during remarks in the State Dining Room at the White House, as a bipartisan border bill appears to be headed for defeat. The president said Donald Trump "would rather weaponize the issue than actually solve it." Photo by Annabelle Gordon/UPI
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Feb. 6 (UPI) -- As a bipartisan border bill appears to be headed toward defeat in Congress, President Joe Biden on Tuesday placed the blame on former President Donald Trump for wanting "a political issue to run against me on."

"All indications are this bill won't even move forward to the Senate floor. Why?" Biden asked in remarks from the White House. "A simple reason: Donald Trump. Because Donald Trump thinks it's bad for him politically. He'd rather weaponize the issue than actually solve it."

Biden claimed Trump is threatening Republican lawmakers to oppose the measure, which was unveiled Sunday and is scheduled for a key procedural vote in the Senate on Wednesday.

"And 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."

The text of the $118 billion Emergency National Security Appropriations Act was unveiled Sunday and was praised by Biden as the "toughest" and "fairest" law ever proposed. It also won the praise of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks Tuesday, saying former President Donald Trump is threatening Republicans to vote against the Emergency National Security Appropriations Act, adding, "and looks like they're caving" as the bill appears to be headed for defeat. Photo by Annabelle Gordon/UPI
President Joe Biden delivers remarks Tuesday, saying former President Donald Trump is threatening Republicans to vote against the Emergency National Security Appropriations Act, adding, "and looks like they're caving" as the bill appears to be headed for defeat. Photo by Annabelle Gordon/UPI

However, House Speaker Mike Johnson deemed it "dead on arrival."

"They sent us a supplemental funding proposal that has immigration reform but not real border security reform, and so that's why it's a nonstarter," Johnson said, after calling the bill Sunday "even worse than we expected."

President Joe Biden urges Congress to pass the Emergency National Security Appropriations Act, which funds reforms at the border as well as aid to Israel and Ukraine, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. Photo by Annabelle Gordon/UPI
President Joe Biden urges Congress to pass the Emergency National Security Appropriations Act, which funds reforms at the border as well as aid to Israel and Ukraine, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. Photo by Annabelle Gordon/UPI

The bill provides $20.23 billion for the Southwest border and gives Biden the emergency authority to shut down the border, if unauthorized migrant crossings exceed certain levels. The package also provides $60 billion in funding for Ukraine aid in its war against Russia, $14.1 billion for Israel's security, plus funding for Taiwan.

McConnell told reporters after Tuesday's Senate GOP lunch, "We had a very robust discussion about whether or not this product could ever become law. And it's been made pretty clear to us by the speaker that it will not become law."

President Joe Biden delivers remarks Tuesday from the State Dining Room of the White House, where he blamed former President Donald Trump for killing the bipartisan border deal for political purposes. Photo by Annabelle Gordon/UPI
President Joe Biden delivers remarks Tuesday from the State Dining Room of the White House, where he blamed former President Donald Trump for killing the bipartisan border deal for political purposes. Photo by Annabelle Gordon/UPI

"Leader McConnell and the Republican Conference did a 180-degree reversal," Schumer said. "They're quaking at the knees in fear of Donald Trump."

Record migration at the southern border is one of the biggest issues in this year's presidential race as Trump has repeatedly attacked Biden for, as he said, failing to act.

On Tuesday, Biden appeared ready to flip the border narrative on the campaign trail.

"But if the bill fails, I want to be absolutely clear about something. The American people are going to know why it failed," Biden said.

"Look, I understand the former president is desperately trying to stop this bill because he's not interested in solving the border problem. He wants a political issue to run against me on."

"Every day between now and November, the American people are gonna know that the only reason the border is not secure is Donald Trump and his MAGA Republican friends," Biden claimed.