Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana told Fox News host Martha MacCallum Wednesday that Republicans did not consider the bipartisan border security bill to be a “deal.”
Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Patty Murray released the text of the legislation, which provides $60 billion in aid to Ukraine and $14 billion to Israel, Sunday evening after weeks of negotiation between Sens. James Lankford, Chris Murphy and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema. The bill was blocked Wednesday after a motion to proceed on the legislation failed 50-49.
“Some of my democratic colleagues say Republicans welched on a deal. There was no deal to welch on,” Kennedy told MacCallum. “As part of this supplemental bill, we asked to have some border provisions explored that might slow President Biden’s open border down. Leader McConnell appointed James Lankford to do that. He did the best he could negotiating with people that support an open border, he brought the product back to us in the Republican conference, the Senate. We said James, we appreciate your hard work, but this is not sufficient. That’s what happened.”
House Republicans indicated the bill would die the moment it enters the chamber.
“I understand that people on both sides have very big differences over this, but you don’t think there were some provisions in there that were worth moving on?” MacCallum asked Kennedy.
“I don’t see how anybody could look at this bill and confidently predict it would have been an improvement,” Kennedy responded.
Kennedy also took aim at President Joe Biden.
“I don’t think he cares,” Kennedy said of the president. “When somebody don’t act like they care, sometimes it’s not an act.”
The legislation would provide $60 billion in aid for Ukraine, compared to $20 billion for security on the U.S border. It also gave non-governmental organizations aiding illegal immigrants $1.4 billion.
United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported more than 6.4 million encounters with illegal immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border since the start of fiscal year 2021.
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