Schatz 'gobsmacked' at GOP turn on border bill

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Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) said he was shocked at the rising GOP opposition to the bipartisan Senate border security bill unveiled Sunday, following years of Republican pressure for border security legislation.

“Just gobsmacked. I’ve never seen anything like it,” Schatz said Monday in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “They literally demanded specific policy, got it, and then killed it.”

The bipartisan deal overhauls the asylum program, provides funds for thousands of new immigration officers, allows the president to shut down the border on an emergency basis and funds foreign aid priorities abroad.

It comes after months of negotiations, led by Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), balancing border security priorities with funding for Biden administration foreign policy goals, including aid for Ukraine and Israel.

The agreement was endorsed by President Biden and the Senate leaders of both parties but quickly shut down by House Republicans. Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) dubbed it “dead on arrival,” and an increasing number of Republicans in both chambers have called for significant amendments or to throw away the deal entirely.

Former President Trump has also loudly condemned the agreement, claiming that its passage would hand Democrats a political win before the November general election.

Johnson has proposed pursuing Israel funding in a stand-alone bill instead of in a package with border security measures. President Biden said he would veto any stand-alone bill, however, calling the idea a “political game.”

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