Biden Blames Trump For Senate Border Bill’s Collapse As GOP Support Evaporates: ‘They’re Afraid Of Donald Trump’ – Forbes
President Joe Biden placed the blame squarely on former President Donald Trump for blocking Senate legislation that would implement stricter border controls and provide more aid to Ukraine, as Trump has warned the bill—which was negotiated by members of both parties—would be a “gift” to Democrats in an election year when immigration is a top campaign issue.
US President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House on February 6, 2024 in … [+]
There is a “simple reason” the bill is unlikely to move forward in the Senate: “Donald Trump,” Biden said in a White House address on Tuesday, urging Congress to approve the $118 billion package that would provide $60 billion in funding for Ukraine amid its war with Russia and $14 billion in assistance for Israel.
Biden said supporting the bill is “standing up to Putin” and that “opposing the bill is playing into his hand,” warning that “if we don’t stop Putin’s appetite for power” he will expand his attacks to countries outside of Ukraine, and potentially NATO allies.
Biden accused Trump of working the phones since the bill debuted to “threaten . . . and try to intimidate” Republicans to tank the legislation in a bid to “weaponize this issue.”
Republicans “owe it to the American people to show some spine” and move forward with passing the bill, despite Trump’s efforts, Biden said.
Biden reiterated his stance that the bill is the “toughest and fairest” border policy in years, laying out the additional mechanisms included in the legislation, including funding for additional border agents, fentanyl-detection machines and immigration judges, and a speedier asylum process.
“History is watching. Failure to support Ukraine at this critical moment will never be forgotten. The position of the MAGA Republicans can be characterized by the New York Times headline . . . ‘Trump First. Putin Second. America Third.’ That cannot pertain,” Biden said, quoting the headline of a Tuesday column by the Times’ Thomas Friedman.
Senate negotiators unveiled the $118 billion joint border security-Ukraine aid package Sunday, following months of negotiations as Republicans demanded stricter border controls in exchange for their support for additional Ukraine assistance. The legislation would require Biden to restrict asylum claims if border crossings exceed an average of 5,000 per day, among other measures. The bill began to unravel within hours as Trump vied to torpedo the effort, warning that it could be seen as a victory for Biden in an election year as he and his GOP allies have blamed the president’s policies for a surge in immigration during his tenure. Trump has instead argued that Biden has the ability to “shut down” the border now and that foreign aid should not be tied to a border deal, despite Republicans insisting for months that it should. Republican Senate leaders, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has said publicly he backs the deal, have begun to acknowledge in recent days that it would be unwise to contest Trump’s wishes, throwing the long-awaited deal into limbo. House Republican leaders, meanwhile, have vowed to block the legislation, echoing Trump’s talking points and arguing it fails to re-implement Trump-era immigration policies, including Title 42, the pandemic-era policy that allowed border agents to reject migrants under the public health emergency, and “Remain in Mexico,” which required asylum seekers to wait out their cases south of the border.