On Sunday, Republican James Lankford of Oklahoma and Democratic Chris Murphy of Connecticut both went on radio to argue for a border accord in the Senate.
The Senate is about to enter its last week of session before the holiday break, but it is still unknown how far senators have come in their continuing border talks.
According to Murphy, “Right now, Republican demands are unreasonable” during his appearance on Meet the Press on NBC. Democrats don’t really support them. If I had to put myself in the shoes of a cynic, I’d conclude that Republicans are actively working to ensure that aid to Ukraine is unsuccessful by linking it to immigration reform. Except I’m not cynical. Consequently, we are still attempting to settle some quite significant disagreements.
In the Senate, Murphy and Lankford have been negotiating the border for almost 30 days. In order for Republicans to back a $106 billion supplemental spending package that is currently making its way through the Senate, they want a compromise on changes to border policies. Aid for the border, as well as Ukraine, Taiwan, and Israel, are all part of the supplemental.
Democrats and Republicans in the Senate were at odds during the first round of negotiations, but they resumed last week. The most recent border plan from Senate Republicans was obtained by HEADLINESFOREVER on Thursday. Among other things, it seeks to outlaw class-based “parole” and revive a version of Title 42 expulsion authorities.
Democratic senators have previously rejected several of these requests, and some Democrats are still quite angry that negotiations over border policy are taking place in this atmosphere.
Republicans have sought to limit asylum petitions, but Murphy showed some flexibility on Sunday to reach a compromise. According to the senator from Connecticut, Democrats will continue to oppose measures that would prevent “legitimate” asylum seekers from entering the country. However, he did acknowledge that there may be opportunities to “tighten some of the rules, so that you don’t have 10,000 people arriving a day.”
As the number of senators calling for increased White House involvement in Senate border talks continues to rise, Murphy added that he anticipates this week that involvement from the White House would increase. However, he refrained from making a prediction about whether the president will participate.
Still, other provisions of the plan, such as the aid to Ukraine, are in danger of expiration, and Lankford is unwilling to separate changes to border policy from the bigger supplemental. According to the Republican leadership in the Senate, this supplementary package should address border security since it is an important part of national security.
“The US can benefit from our ability to accomplish two goals simultaneously… On the border, we can only accomplish so much. On CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Lankford stated, “But we can do the things to actually begin to control the border so that the United States controls our boundaries and not the cartels.”
In response to questions regarding the most recent alleged requests from the Republican Party, Lankford stated, “There are several things that I have proposed on that, some things that I haven’t,” while evading specific details.
The Senate will likely need to add a week to its timetable in order to pass the supplemental by year-end, given there is just one week of session left.