Brunswick Beacon, 02.08.24
Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) was named by the American Conservative Union as the second most conservative U.S. senator. Republicans authorized Lankford to negotiate a bipartisan deal to strengthen border security, which he did. President Biden calls it "the toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border we've ever had in our country. It would give me new emergency authority to shut down the border when it becomes overwhelmed. If given that authority, I would use it the day I sign the bill into law."
Donald Trump worries that fixing border security would help Biden. Trump’s fear is shared by radical House Republicans: "I'm not willing to do too damn much right now to help Joe Biden's approval rating," said Rep. Troy Nehls (R-TX).
A Republican senator said, “This proposal would have almost unanimous Republican support if it weren’t for Donald Trump. Trump wants to kill it because he doesn’t want Biden to have a victory.” Trump pleads guilty: “A lot of the senators are blaming it on me. I say, that’s okay. Please blame it on me. Please.” Many have.
Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) urged Republicans not to sacrifice “good, solid policy” to help Trump’s campaign: “To lose this opportunity is malpractice. It’s immoral to look the other way because you think this is the linchpin for President Trump to win.”
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) said, “the fact [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. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called it “a historic moment to reform the border,” adding, “those who think if Trump wins we can get a better deal — you won’t.”
Sen. John Thune, (R-SD), said Republicans won’t get anything close to this “if we have to get 60 votes in the Senate in a Republican majority.”
Graham and Thune are right. Republicans had “trifectas” (controlling the White House, Senate, and House) twice under Bush and once under Trump. Each time, radical Republicans blocked border security funding because they didn’t, and still don’t, actually want to improve border security. They just want to campaign on it.
Radical Republicans blocked border security in 2007
George W. Bush said his biggest regret was not improving border security: “I campaigned on immigration reform. I made it abundantly clear to voters this is something I intended to do.” His proposal doubled border patrol officers, used National Guard to secure the border, and ended “catch and release.” Radical Republicans sabotaged it. Only 12 of 49 Senate Republicans supported Bush’s bill.
Radical Republicans blocked border security in 2013
President Obama negotiated a bipartisan deal to add 40,000 border patrol agents. The Congressional Budget Office said it would reduce the deficit by $197 billion over 10 years and $700 billion by 2033. The Social Security Administration said it would add $276 billion in revenue over 10 years while costing just $33 billion. It passed the Senate, but Radical Republicans opposed it, so House Speaker John Boehner refused to hold a vote.
Trump blocked border security in 2018
A bipartisan Senate group negotiated a deal to spend billions on border security and protect 800,000 children from deportation. Trump rejected it with his usual vulgarity and unapologetic racism: "Why do we want all these people from Africa here? They're [expletive] countries. We should have more people from Norway."
Radical Republicans blocked border security in 2021
On his first day as President, Biden sent Congress a bill that increased border security funding, protected border communities, cracked down on criminal organizations, expedited fentanyl screening and tackled the migration surge at its source in Central America. Republicans called it a ”nonstarter.”
Radical Republicans put politics over public safety
The Oklahoma Republican Party censured Lankford for “working with Democrat (sic) Senator Charles Shumer” to negotiate the deal. Lankford said: "Republicans four months ago would not give funding for Ukraine, Israel, and our southern border because we demanded changes in policy…a few months later, when we're finally getting to the end, they're like, 'Oh, just kidding, I actually don't want a change in law because of the presidential election.”
Trump stirs sedition to score political points
Texas is defying a Supreme Court order to stop using its National Guard to block federal officers from the border. Trump urged “all willing States to deploy their guards to Texas,” effectively promoting a second civil war. Twenty-five Republican governors say they will support Texas.
Sen. Tillis says, “You don’t knowingly make this country less safe for political points.”
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) says blocking border security for political gain is treason: “My question for Republicans is: How many hundreds of thousands of illegals would you allow in the country just because it might help your chances of election? I ran for Congress on getting the border secure. So, if I have a chance to do that and don’t, I’m a traitor.”
Do you agree with the 57% of Americans who told a Civiqs Poll that border security needs fixing NOW, or the 15% who think it can wait until after the election? Do you support Trump’s sabotage? Or are you with Tillis, who calls it “immoral,” and Crenshaw, who calls it the act of “a traitor?”
Shelley Allen, Ph.D.
Brunswick County Democratic Party