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Schumer to revive failed bipartisan border bill this week

(NewsNation) — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer plans to bring up a bipartisan border security deal for a vote this week, reigniting an effort that failed earlier this year amid Republican opposition.

In a letter sent Sunday to Democratic Senate offices, Schumer acknowledged the bill will likely fail again but said it gives Democrats a chance to show they are trying to secure the border, an issue where they are perceived as weak by many voters.

The legislation, known as the Border Act, was negotiated in February by senators James Lankford, R-Okla., and Chris Murphy, D-Conn. It overhauls asylum laws, hires thousands of new border agents, invests in technology to stop fentanyl trafficking and gives the president new authorities to restrict border crossings.

Sen. Johnson ‘absolutely’ still opposed to bipartisan border deal

The bill had backing from the National Border Patrol Council union, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the conservative Wall Street Journal editorial board when initially proposed. But it stalled after former President Donald Trump urged congressional Republicans to oppose it, saying he wanted to preserve the border issue for his 2024 campaign.

“I will be honest: I do not expect all Democrats to support this legislation,” Schumer wrote. “But that is often how bipartisan legislation must be shaped when dealing with an issue as complex and politically charged as our nation’s immigration laws.”

Lankford, among the most conservative GOP senators, has said Trump’s opposition tanked the bill earlier this year despite it containing wins for border hawks.

“The American people do not have the luxury of playing partisan blame games. They want bipartisan action to secure our border. I hope Republicans and Democrats can work together to pass the bipartisan Border Act this coming week,” Schumer wrote.

The revived bill faces an uphill path with Republicans still firmly opposed. Both parties are positioning ahead of the 2024 elections when control of the White House and Congress will be at stake.