FIRST ON FOX: House Freedom Caucus members are urging their conservative Senate colleagues to reject the recently unveiled border security compromise, claiming it does not go far enough to curb the migrant crisis.
“It’s clear why Democrats waited until the last minute to drop this dumpster fire of a bill, it’s far worse than we could have expected,” former Freedom Caucus Chairman Scott Perry, R-Pa., told Fox News Digital on Sunday night after the legislation was released. “The Senate must reject this American sellout.”
The proposal is aimed at tightening current immigration and asylum laws while also fast-tracking eligible asylum claims. It also would give President Biden and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) authorities to temporarily shut down the border when it’s overwhelmed.
But a majority of House Republicans have insisted on border reform that goes even further, pointing to their H.R.2 border security bill passed last year.
Others, like Freedom Caucus member Rep. Eli Crane, R-Ariz., are still critical of its attachment to Democrats’ supplemental aid proposal that would also allocate $60 billion toward Ukraine and additional funding for Israel and elsewhere.
“Instead of fighting for a serious bill that combats the invasion we face, weak-kneed Senate Republicans got rolled by Democrats, letting their obsession with Ukraine get in the way of their duty to America,” Crane told Fox News Digital. “This pathetic excuse for [a] border security deal gives Ukraine three times as much as it allocates to the U.S. border.”
Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., told Fox News Digital, “At first glance, this ‘deal’ is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. This is a Ukraine border deal, not a U.S. border deal.”
A big sticking point for critics even before the bill was released was the rumored authority to allow 5,000 migrants into the country per day before enforcing a Title 42-like expulsion authority.
What the bill text does is create a new “border emergency authority” to turn people away, which may be used if the average number of migrants encountered reaches an average 4,000 per day across a seven-day period. The authority would be mandatory if that number hits 5,000.
Those powers can be used for up to 270 days in the first year of implementation, a number that gradually decreases before the authority sunsets altogether in three years.
“The acceptable number of illegal aliens allows into the U.S. should be zero. The proposal is an absolute slap in the face to Americans and no Republican (or Democrat, for that matter) should support it,” Rep. Andy Ogles, R-Tenn., told Fox News Digital.
Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., Senate Republicans’ lead negotiator of the deal, called the notion that 5,000 people were “coming into the country” each day “absurd and untrue.”
“The emergency authority is not designed to let 5,000 people in, it is designed to close the border and turn 5,000 people around,” he said on X.
But it’s not just GOP hardliners who are pumping the breaks on the bill. Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., called it a “nonstarter” and Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., vowed it would not get a House vote.
GOP Conference Policy Chair Gary Palmer, R-Ala., wrote on X, “I cannot believe the Senate actually thinks this bill will secure our border. This poor excuse for a border security bill will continue to incentivize illegal crossings and will not have my support.”