May 8, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Schumer plans to revive bipartisan border deal

 Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks during a news conference following a Senate Democrat party policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol Building

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks during a news conference. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is seriously considering bringing the failed bipartisan border deal back to the floor for a vote later this month — turning the tables on the GOP's favorite 2024 issue, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Democrats are launching a border offensive. Senators are slamming Republicans again for killing the border deal months ago and President Biden is unveiling new proposed asylum changes this week.

  • Schumer plans to force Republicans to again reject the border package, according to three Democratic Senate aides familiar. The bill would expedite the asylum process and allow the federal government to curtail asylum access during surges.
  • Schumer told his caucus during the lunch meeting on Wednesday that he's seriously considering bringing the bipartisan border deal to the floor for a vote the week of May 20th, according to multiple Senate Democratic aides familiar.
  • For years, Democrats have been hesitant to directly deal with the border issue, struggling to find a way to counter GOP attacks over the historic numbers of illegal border crossings.

What they're saying: "Democrats are going to make it clear which party is working to fix our broken border, and which party is conspiring to make it worse," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said at a press briefing Wednesday afternoon following the caucus lunch where the border was discussed.

  • "It's clear as day Republicans are addicted to using the issue of immigration as a political tool. They are allergic to solving the problem," said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).
  • During the lunch, Murphy reminded senators of what the deal he negotiated with Sens. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) would have done on the border, according to an aide.

What to watch: Schumer, House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and top Biden officials met last week to talk through their plans for executive actions and legislative actions related to the border.

  • Murphy wants to reignite bipartisan talks on border legislation, "I think we should give Republicans another chance to vote for this bill," he told reporters on Wednesday.
  • Murphy was Democrats' top negotiator on the failed deal and talks frequently with Biden officials about the issue.

Zoom in: The Biden administration is expected to publish a proposed rule as soon as Thursday that would more quickly deport some migrants barred from asylum, as Axios reported.

  • The rule targets those who are deemed to be a national security or public safety threat. It will have to go though the lengthy rule process before it would go into effect.
  • It's an early taste of what could be multiple executive actions by President Biden to try to tamp down on the number of people illegally crossing the border.
  • One action that has been under serious consideration for months would invoke a part of U.S. code called 212(f) to block entry of certain migrants. Several of former President Trump's crackdowns relied on 212(f).

Between the lines: Immigration continues to be the top concern for American voters, and it's having an impact in key 2024 races up and down he ballot — even in states hundreds of miles from the border.

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