Senate GOP Threatens Biden’s COVID Bill in Response to Lifting of Title 42

Regardless of the outcome of the amendment, the reality is that Biden’s decision to revoke title 42 has brought to light the deep divisions within the Democratic Party in Congress

Senate Republicans are preparing to force Democrats to include an amendment ensuring Title 42 remains in effect on the border to Biden’s new COVID bill, according to a Wall Street Journal report, as the Biden White House has announced plans to scrap the measure in the next days. Lifting the mandate sets up the stage for a new surge of immigrants crossing the southern border. Biden’s decision to scrap title 42 appears to have deepened the divide among Senate Democrats just a few months before the midterm campaigns start in full.

The amendment has yet to be formally introduced but it appears that a handful of vulnerable Democratic Senators are open to keeping Title 42 in the books, creating a difficult scenario for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Schumer will have to try to manage the competing factions of the Democratic Party, who are divided between the progressives who support scrapping Title 42 and the moderates or vulnerable Senators who oppose it.

President Biden’s proposal to scrap Title 42 is being opposed by Republicans and some Democrats (EFE)

Republicans have shown unified opposition to scrapping title 42

Title 42 refers to a section within the U.S. Code that allows immigration agents at the border to expel single adult and family migrants detained at the border in order to stop the spread of transmittable diseases. U.S. Border patrol has recorded more than 1.7 million Title 42 expulsions since the government invoked the authority in 2020.

The border has been one of the permanent crises the Biden White House has faced since he took office last year. According to CBP data, Border Patrol has recorded more than 2.2 million encounters on the Southwest border since January 2021, and the Administration is expecting an unprecedented rise in the numbers as the White House moves closer to revoking Title 42.

Republicans have argued in favor of keeping Title 42 in place as a necessary measure to prevent a deterioration in the border. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said in a statement that “Ending Title 42 without any real border security plan in place would spark a humanitarian and security crisis like we’ve never seen.”  

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Cesar Ybarra, the Vice-President of Policy of the conservative grassroots organization FreedomWorks said to El American that “The Biden administration cannot have it both ways. As they use COVID-19 as an excuse to extend mask mandates on airplanes and the moratorium on student loan payments, the CDC is lifting its order to allow for the expedited removal of migrants coming into the country. This inconsistency continues to sow distrust in our public health institutions. If Congress is going to appropriate $10 billion in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, reasonable minds would argue that the CDC’s order under Title 42 must remain place.”

Republicanos bloquean en el Senado intento demócrata por eliminar el requisito de identifación para votar
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has criticized the scrapping of Title 42

Some Democrats have opposed the scrapping of Title 42

Democrats are finding themselves in an extremely uncomfortable position as many lawmakers from swing states will have to decide if they will approve Biden’s revoke of Title 42, giving republicans ammunition during the midterm campaign to criticize them for being too weak on immigration. or side with Republicans in sinking Biden’s border policy, raising the ire of the progressive and liberal base of the Democratic Party.

The list of Democrats who have expressed their public skepticism to revoke Title 42 goes beyond the usual names of Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) or Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), as lawmakers who usually side with the administration have signaled their openness to oppose this measure. Senators Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Sinema sent a letter to Biden asking him to keep title 42 in the books. They said that the White House did not have a proper plan in place to deal with the expected number of migrants coming through the border when the regulation is repealed.

The issue of immigration and border security will become a key one in this year’s midterms (EFE)

Similarly, Senators who are up for re-election like Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) have also said that “this preemptive repeal threatens border security at a time when the administration should be focused on strengthening it.”  Hassan won her seat in the Senate by less than 2,000 votes in 2016.

Kelly, who will be one of the prime targets for the GOP in this year’s midterms, has already said he is willing to engage in negotiations with the Republican Senators to reach a deal to ensure Title 42 is not eliminated, saying to reporters “I’m open to getting to a point where this does not wind up being a complete mess here at the end of May.”

Whether Senate manages to pass the amendment securing the survival of title 42 remains unknown, and even if they do, it is possible that the House will oppose such a bill. Regardless of the outcome of the amendment, the reality is that Biden’s decision to revoke title 42 has brought to light the deep divisions within the Democratic Party in Congress.

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