Republican and Democrat Senators are working on a deal to create tougher U.S. immigration and asylum laws. Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that they plan to release the full text of the document before the end of the week. This bill would also include funding for Ukraine and Israel.
The agreement was drawn up by Sens. James Lankford (R-OK.), Chris Murphy (D-CT.), and Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) in an ambitious effort to tackle this problem in the middle of an election year. There is concern the bill will be dead on arrival as Republican front-runner and former President Donald Trump has criticized the failed efforts of Congress to take swift action and House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) has criticized the bill.
Sen. James Lankford told reporters he has kept the Speakers staff informed of every process during the bills creation but Mike Johnson’s office responded by saying they never heard from Lankford during the process.
As of right now the bill has not been released but Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) has told reporters the process is taking a long time and losing support as time goes on. Although Tillis supports the deal, he claimed getting to the 60 votes mark is getting “narrower by the day”. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel (R-KY) has been talking with his party delaying the process even longer to ensure there are enough votes to pass the bill should it be introduced.
One issue that is going to complicate negotiations is House Republicans preparing to impeach the Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. This impeachment is founded on the accusation of refusing to enforce immigration laws.
There is a lot of confusion as hardline Republicans in the Senate have accused the bill of being to soft or weak for them to vote for it. Sen. Sinema (I-AZ) has said these accusation are wrong and the bill has plenty of provisions that Republican’s have been asking for such as the end of “catch and release” and ensuring the border can be shut down when it’s overwhelmed.
Both sides have expressed concerns that the bill will lose votes on both sides as hardline Democrats believe the bill does too much to the border while hardline Republicans believe it is not enough.
The coming days will likely provide some detail into what will happen with the bill but as of now, there is no clear direction it will take. If it is passed in the Senate, it will likely undergo many changes in the House. The tension with House Speaker Mike Johnson and the Senators who worked on the bill has created a hesitation amongst Republican Senators. Some Democrat’s believe their party has given up to much and are not willing to make the concessions in order to pass the aid portions of the bill.
Mitch McConnell has stated his hope to get aid to Israel and Ukraine and believes that other Senators will see the importance of it as well.