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Will Trump Election Prospects Kill A New Border Security Law?

Former President Trump's dominance in the GOP primary has scrambled the political incentives underlying one of President Biden's top vulnerabilities: the border. The crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border is triggering constitutional challenges and a massive political headache in Congress, Axios reports. Republican senators are working furiously to salvage a bipartisan border security package that Trump opposes because it could undermine one of his most potent campaign themes. In Texas, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is openly defying a U.S. Supreme Court decision and arguing that Biden has failed in his constitutional duty to defend states from a border "invasion." The Senate devolved into chaos after GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) cast doubt on the pathway for a border deal in a closed-door meeting Wednesday. "We don't want to do anything to undermine" Trump, Punchbowl News quoted McConnell as saying.

Republican demands to pass stricter border policies have held hostage tens of billions of dollars in military aid for Ukraine and Israel. Several GOP senators who have supported the monthslong negotiations arrived at the Capitol on Thursday angry and confused. "The fact that [Trump] would communicate to Republican senators and congresspeople that he doesn't want us to solve the border problem because he wants to blame Biden for it is really appalling," Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) told CNN. Some senators said the coverage of McConnell's comments was overblown and misleading, and the GOP leader clarified his support for the negotiations in a conference meeting Thursday. Romney said after the meeting that McConnell is "fully behind the border bill" and "is not going to let political considerations of any campaign stand in the way of his support." However, there's doubt that a deal will come to fruition amid persistent opposition from Senate and House conservatives. Senators have yet to see the actual bill text, which is expected in the coming days.


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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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