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Lankford says this is what’s really in the immigration, foreign aid package

Feb 1

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The text of the bill to provide foreign aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, and increase U.S. border security could be released at any moment. Between former President Donald Trump’s opposition and what negotiators call “rumors,” what once looked like a promising bipartisan victory now may not even get approved in one piece — if at all.

“Everyone’s going off of internet rumors,” Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., said. “And there’s lots of things that are out there, they’re just patently false.”

Lankford, along with Democratic Sens. Chris Murphy, Conn., and Kyrsten Sinema, Ariz., are the lead negotiators. They’ve been working since October to make a deal.  

Lankford said the single biggest piece of misinformation is that the bill would allow 5,000 people a day to enter the U.S., at which point the border would be shut down.

“I would never agree to that,” Lankford told reporters. “It’s not 5,000 in. It’s everyone who doesn’t qualify out.” 

Here’s what Lankford said is really in the bill: 

  1. Enhanced  asylum screenings.
  2. Increased migrant detention capacity.
  3. Increased deportation flights.
  4. An end to “catch and release.”
  5. A daily cap on immigration to prevent the Border Patrol from becoming overwhelmed.

“When we get overrun, it stops all traffic and pushes it back to Mexico and says, ‘We’re not releasing you into the country, we’re turning you around until we can actually process people,'” Lankford said. “That is being completely mischaracterized.”  

Although Republican support in the Senate has diminished, unanimity or near unanimity from Democrats along with about 25 Republican votes is still enough to get it approved. 

“I think it’s going to be approved on the Senate side. I think the House, it’s a little more of a question mark,” Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., said. 

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., said based on what he’s heard so far, it’s a “non-starter” in the House. 

“I hope some of this is not true. But from what we’ve seen clearly, what’s been suggested is in this bill is not enough to secure the border,” Johnson said

There are two issues that both get worse with time. One, lawmakers lose the political will to pass the bill in a presidential election year, and two, the need to send additional aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan increases, which may require lawmakers to act on that separately. 

“The more you change the bill, the more partisan it becomes,” Sen. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla said. “And at some point, instead of being bipartisan, it becomes partisan. And at some point, we have to make the decision to how much more can we give before we walk away. And I think we’re there.”

In addition to the border security provisions that House Republicans contend are too lax, some in the caucus are also opposed to sending more aid to Ukraine. However, there is still a majority in the House who support foreign aid.

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[RAY BOGAN]

The text of the bill to provide foreign aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan and increase US border security could be released at any moment.

 It can’t come fast enough for lawmakers, between Donald Trump’s opposition and what negotiators call rumors, what once looked like a promising bipartisan victory now may not even get approved in one piece, if at all. 

Sen. James Lankford, R-OK: “And so everyone’s going off of internet rumors. And there’s lots of things that are out there. They’re just patently false.” 

[RAY BOGAN]

Lankford says the single biggest piece of misinformation is that the bill would allow 5,000 people a day to enter the US at which point the border would be shut down. Lankford says he would never agree to that. 

Sen. James Lankford R-OK: “It’s not 5000 in. It’s everyone who doesn’t qualify out.”

[RAY BOGAN]

Here’s what Lankford says is really in the bill: 

  1. Enhanced  asylum screenings 
  2. Increased migrant detention capacity 
  3. Increased deportation flights
  4. An end to catch and release 
  5. And a daily cap on immigration to prevent the Border Patrol from becoming overwhelmed 

Sen. James Lankford R-OK: “When we get overrun, it stops all traffic and pushes it back to Mexico and says we’re not releasing you into the country, we’re turning you around, until we can actually process people. That is being completely mischaracterized.” 

[RAY BOGAN]

Although Republican support in the Senate has diminished, unanimity or near unanimity from Democrats along with about 25 Republican votes is still enough to get it approved. 

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-VA: “I think it’s going to be approved on the Senate side. I think the house it’s a little more of a question mark.”

[RAY BOGAN]

House Speaker Mike Johnson says based on what he’s heard so far, it’s a non-starter in the House. 

Speaker Mike Johnson, R-LA: “I hope some of this is not true. But from what we’ve seen clearly, what’s been suggested is in this bill is not enough to secure the border.”

[RAY BOGAN]

There are two issues here, both get worse with time. 1) Lawmakers lose the political will to get it done in a presidential election year and 2) the need to send more help to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan increases, which may require lawmakers to act on that separately. 

Sen. Markwayne Mullin, R-OK: “The more you change the bill, the more partisan it becomes. And at some point, instead of being bipartisan, it becomes partisan. And at some point, we have to make the decision to how much more can we give before we walk away? And I think we’re there.”

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