Scalise: No vote for Senate border bill in House



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House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) on Sunday declared that the Senate’s bipartisan border bill will not be taken up in the lower chamber after negotiators released their package after months of discussions.

Scalise echoed past remarks by Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), citing claims that the bill would allow 5,000 migrants per day — a point negotiators have said repeatedly is a falsehood — and criticizing the asylum provisions in the nascent proposal. 

“Let me be clear: The Senate Border Bill will NOT receive a vote in the House,” Scalise posted on social media.

“Here’s what the people pushing this ‘deal’ aren’t telling you: It accepts 5,000 illegal immigrants a day and gives automatic work permits to asylum recipients—a magnet for more illegal immigration.”

Johnson has not commented on the bill since it was released. He previously indicated that the package as he had understood it would be “dead-on-arrival” in the House. 

Scalise’s remarks point to a claim that has reverberated around conservative circles in recent weeks.

According to the bill, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has the power to close down the border if the daily average of migrant encounters hits the 4,000-mark. DHS would be required to shutter the border to all migrants who do not have appointments if the daily average reaches 5,000.

At that point, the border would stay closed until DHS is able to process all of the migrants.

Negotiators and supporters of the bill note that those migrants would not be allowed freely into the country, with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) telling reporters recently that all of those migrants would go into detention or a program devised as an alternative to detention. 

“The idea that people, ‘illegals are coming into the country, 5,000 a day’ — factually false,” the Arizona Independent said. “They do not get to stay or [get] into the country. … They are not wandering around the country as current folks are doing when they come to the border.”

The 370-page package was unveiled on Sunday evening after months of negotiations. The legislation, including aid for Ukraine, Israel, the Indo-Pacific and humanitarian purposes, totals $118 billion, with $20 billion going towards the border component. 

Conservatives in both congressional chambers issued near-immediate condemnations of the bill. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) urged lawmakers to filibuster the bill as the Senate may only have days between its release and when Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) brings it up for a vote. 

Members of the House Freedom Caucus and their allies also labeled the proposal a “complete sell-out, “awful” and “totally unacceptable.”

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