Senate to Vote on Border Bill Thursday, Republicans and Some Democrats Are Opposed to Measure

By Brendan Scanland

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Senate is preparing for another vote on legislation to address the southern border. 

This new border security bill, backed by the White House, is set to receive a vote in the Senate tomorrow. But with strong Republican opposition, and some division among Democrats, it’s unclear whether it can even pass the Democratic-controlled upper chamber. 

This is the second time this year the Senate will attempt to pass bipartisan border security legislation. In February, the measure was shot down after months of negotiations. Democrats blame former President Donald Trump for pressuring Republicans in Congress to oppose the bill in order to use the border crisis as a top campaign issue. 

“Three months ago, Donald Trump told his Republican allies to block the strongest bipartisan border security bill Congress has seen in a whole generation. Luckily, we are trying again tomorrow, and I hope this time our Republicans join us to achieve a different outcome,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D- NY) during a press conference Wednesday afternoon. 

“105 days ago, they had a chance to do something. Tomorrow, they’re going to have another chance. And we hope that they will join us in voting yes,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D- MI).  

Democrats say the bill would crack down on drug trafficking, fund more border officers and provide innovative equipment to detect fentanyl. 

“This bill will stop the flow of fentanyl in many large ways. Are they going to put their votes where their rhetoric is,” said Leader Schumer referring to Senate Republicans. 

Schumer said a vote for the bill is a vote to combat fentanyl and ensure some of the most comprehensive border changes in decades. However, not all Democrats are in favor of the legislation.  

In a press release Wednesday, Senator Cory Booker (D- NJ) voiced his opposition to the bill.  

“I will not vote for the bill coming to the senate floor this week because it includes several provisions that will violate Americans’ shared values. These provisions would not make us safer,” said Sen. Booker. 

The bill also faces strong opposition from many House and Senate Republicans. 

“What they’re doing right now is a political stunt,” said Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R- TN). 

In a press conference Wednesday morning, Senate Republicans accused Democrats of using the bill to score political points for the upcoming election. They said the push by President Biden and Leader Schumer is too little too late. 

Additionally, Republicans argue that the bill includes reckless policy like codifying catch and release, deputizing asylum agents to fast track illegal immigration on a path to citizenship and removing jurisdiction for states like Texas to address the crisis. 

Instead, Republicans continue to call on Schumer to bring up a Trump-era border policy bill passed by the House over a year ago. 

“H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act, which, as you all know, was the most comprehensive border security bill ever passed by Congress that we did now more than 13 months ago. It’s been sitting on Chuck Schumer’s desk,” said House Speaker Mike Johnson (R- LA). 

Speaker Johnson said the Senate’s bill is “dead on arrival” in the House if it were to pass the upper chamber tomorrow.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), there’ve been roughly 531,208 reported CBP encounters at the southern border so far in 2024.