Rep. Beth Van Duyne, R-Texas, told Newsmax Wednesday that the Republican-controlled House has tried to put conditions on Ukraine funding and pushed for border security measures but the Senate is "sitting on" the immigration bills the chamber has passed.
"We had a bill on the table … that would fund the government for 30 days, it was a cut in discretionary spending by 30% and it would allow HR 2’s biggest parcels to be pushed forward and forced on a spending bill," Van Duyne said during an appearance on Newsmax’s "The Chris Salcedo Show." "We've already tried that; we did not have enough Republicans who voted for it."
HR 2, or the Secure the Border Act of 2023, passed the House in May and makes various changes to immigration law, including putting limits on asylum eligibility and mandating employers use an electronic system to verify the employment eligibility of new employees.
On Tuesday afternoon, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell called on his GOP colleagues to torpedo a bill that would provide more than $61 billion in military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine because immigration and border reforms are not included in the package.
The Hill reported that border security negotiations broke down in the Senate on Friday when Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., put forth a proposal that largely resembled HR 2. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has called HR 2 "a nonstarter."
The tug-of-war over additional funding for Kyiv and border security reportedly came to a head Tuesday, when senators got into a shouting match over the issue during a classified briefing on the Ukraine war.
Van Duyne said she is not in favor of tying Ukraine funding to money intended to increase security at the U.S.-Mexico border.
"I think it's a mistake to mix the Ukraine funding with our border funding and, to your point, where are they [the Biden administration] spending the money?" she asked. "We're seeing where they're spending the money: in order to more quickly bring in people here illegally and to buy more plane tickets and bus tickets to send them throughout the country.
"So, absolutely we need to make sure that we've got policies, not just dollar amounts, but policies that are attached to these border bills, and it's exactly what we had tried to do."
"They've got HR 2; it’s languishing right now in the Senate," she continued. "They're not working on it, but that had a number of things, including the 'remain in Mexico' policy, First Safe Country, Title 42, actually building the wall, supporting Immigration and Customs Enforcement, supporting local police. So the House, under a Republican majority, has passed those bills. It is the Senate that is sitting on them."
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Nicole Wells ✉
Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.
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