Senate GOP campaign chief says he’s a ‘no’ on border bill

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Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), chair of the Senate GOP campaign arm, said Monday he would not support the bipartisan border deal unveiled Sunday night as part of the larger supplemental funding package that also aids Ukraine, Israel and other foreign policy priorities.

“I can’t support a bill that doesn’t secure the border, provides taxpayer funded lawyers to illegal immigrants and gives billions to radical open borders groups. I’m a no,” Daines wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“President Biden should instead use his executive authority to reinstitute the Trump policies he canceled,” Daines continued, listing “Remain in Mexico,” Title 42 and border wall construction.

In publicly disavowing the border agreement, Daines falls in line with other hard-line conservatives and allies of former President Trump, who wasted no time in criticizing the bill once it was made public.

The text for the border deal was released Sunday. Trump has signaled he does not want Congress to pass any significant border security legislation that could be seen as a win for President Biden ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

The border security deal — part of the larger supplemental funding package that includes aid for Israel, Ukraine, and other foreign policy priorities — came together after months of negotiations led by Sens. James Lankford (R-Okla.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.).

It includes provisions to raise standards for asylum screening and to process claims faster. It also ends the practice known as “catch and release” and provides a new authority to close the border to most migrants when crossings reach a set threshold. This enhanced border emergency authority, however, would not apply to unaccompanied children or migrants experiencing medical emergencies or an imminent threat to their lives.

The bill also seeks to make it easier for migrants to get work authorization and to eliminate the immigration court backlog.

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