Washington: House Republicans are seeking Thursday to pass a sweeping bill to build more border wall and impose new restrictions on asylum seekers, creating a hardline counter to President Joe Biden’s policies just as migrants are amassing along the border with the end of pandemic restrictions.
The bill has virtually no chance of becoming law. Democrats, who have a narrow hold on the Senate, have decried the aggressive measures in the bill as “cruel” and “anti-immigrant,” and Biden has already promised he would veto it.
But the House GOP pointedly scheduled the vote for the same day as the expiration of Title 42, a public health emergency rule that allowed border authorities to quickly return many migrants who crossed the border illegally. Biden has conceded that the U.S.-Mexico border will be “chaotic for a while” as migrants weigh whether to cross and U.S. officials use a new set of policies that aim to clamp down on illegal immigration while offering more legal pathways.
Republicans have sought to slam Biden for the increase in illegal immigration during his tenure. Passing the bill would ensure House GOP lawmakers can say they did their part to deliver on a campaign promise to secure the border.
“The Republicans actually have solutions,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told reporters late Wednesday, expressing confidence the GOP could pass it on a party-line vote through the narrowly held House.
McCarthy, R-Calif., spoke for roughly 20 minutes late Wednesday from the House floor — a perch he uses only on occasion — to further press the point.