In Tuesday comments at the White House, President Joe Biden directly called out Donald Trump, who remains the front-runner for the GOP’s presidential nomination this year, for clamoring against a bipartisan deal on the border that emerged in the Senate.
The deal looked like it could go down in the Senate before even reaching the House, where GOP leadership already said they wouldn’t bring the proposal to a vote. Trump, meanwhile, has gone public with his opposition. Republicans have pushed the idea that the president already holds powers necessary for action, alleging that assistance for migrants in the deal that accompanies the establishment of additional federal powers somehow constitutes an outright incentive for undocumented immigration.
“Now, all indications are this bill won’t even move forward to the Senate floor. Why? A simple reason: Donald Trump,” Biden said. “Because Donald Trump thinks it’s bad for him politically. Therefore, he doesn’t — even though it would help the — the country, he’s not for it. He’d rather weaponize this issue than actually solve it. So, for the last 24 hours, he’s done nothing, I’m told, but reach out to Republicans in the House and the Senate and threaten them and try to intimidate them to vote against this proposal. And it looks like they’re caving.”
Leaving the border in its current state would allow Trump to continue orienting his campaign around it in much the same manner. Republicans in the House have been clamoring for familiarly partisan policies, like reestablishing the so-called “remain in Mexico” program by which asylum-seekers were forced to wait outside of the country and restarting work on the elusive border wall.
Biden promised that he would tell voters what was happening on the precipice of major action on the border. The deal, if actually implemented, would let the government mostly shut the border between ports of entry in strenuous conditions.
“I’ll be taking this issue to the country, and the voters are going to know that it’s not just a moment — just at the moment we were going to secure the border and fund these other programs, Trump and the MAGA Republicans said no because they’re afraid of Donald Trump — afraid of Donald Trump,” Biden said. “Every day between now and November, the American people are going to know that the only reason the border is not secure is Donald Trump and his MAGA Republican friends.”