FIRST ON FOX: House Republicans from Texas’ congressional delegation are urging their Senate counterparts to push for stricter border security measures, implying they don’t believe the Senate GOP’s recent proposal to stem illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border goes far enough.
The lawmakers sent a letter addressed to their Senate Republican colleagues on Thursday along with a 13-page “Texas Border Plan” put out late last year by Republicans representing the Lone Star State. It’s signed by all but one Texas Republican in the House.
“In May 2023, the House of Representatives embraced the Texas Border Plan in passing H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act of 2023. H.R. 2 is by far the strongest border security legislation to ever pass Congress, but – to date – Chuck Schumer’s Senate has failed to act on this critical legislation,” the letter said.
“Of course, there are other ideas that could be added to aid the effort. However, the fundamentals of H.R. 2 represent the engine of policy reforms necessary to stop the disastrous flow to the border.”
A Senate GOP working group rolled out a proposal to help solve the southern border crisis earlier this week. They are pushing for the plan to be attached to President Biden’s supplemental aid request for Ukraine and Israel in exchange for Republican support.
The plan includes elements that overlap with H.R. 2 – like resuming construction of former President Trump’s border wall and curbing the Biden administration’s ability to parole undocumented migrants – but Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, who is leading the Thursday letter, criticized it for falling short of the House bill.
“The [Senate GOP] talking about watered down border security & amnesty… hmmm… where have I heard that before? Thanks, but no,” Roy wrote on X Wednesday.
House lawmakers’ letter also pointed out that a majority of the Senate Republican Conference voted for H.R. 2 before, when it was offered as an amendment to the June 2022 bill raising the debt ceiling.
“Thus, we implore our Senate colleagues to embrace the critical policy changes included in H.R. 2 and the Texas Border Plan in any serious attempt to offer and negotiate solutions to this crisis,” they wrote.
“We urge you, our Senate Republican colleagues, to continue to fight for the policy changes in the Texas Border Plan and leverage every opportunity to ensure they pass the Senate.”
Senate Republicans’ plan has been hammered by both the left and the right, threatening to put the proposal even lower down the path of an uphill climb to get considered.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called the proposal “a total non-starter” during a Wednesday press conference.
“Making Ukraine funding conditional on the hard-right border policies that can’t ever pass Congress is a huge mistake by our Republican colleagues,” Schumer said, comparing the plan to H.R. 2.
There’s likely enough appetite among Senate Republicans to pass a strong Ukraine aid bill, but its chances would be virtually nonexistent in the House without serious conservative concessions.
Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., has already passed a decoupled Israel aid bill through the House, and signaled that border security measures would need to be attached to any Ukraine aid in his chamber.