Washington, DC – Yesterday, two U.S. Senate votes captured the misplaced priorities of the Republican Party. Republicans voted to block smart immigration and border solutions and to block a much-needed domestic terrorism bill. Bash immigrants? Yes. Protect Americans from Terrorism? No.
- Senate Republicans Vote Against Border Efficiency Regulation: Every Senate Republican voted in favor of a disapproval resolution regarding the Biden administration’s interim final rule on asylum. This despite the fact that the rule in question would improve efficiency of our asylum system and reduce chaos at the border – exactly what many critics of Biden’s border management policies have been demanding. The GOP opposition to a sensible fix to improve border management was driven by the GOP’s relentless drive to score political points on border issues. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) captured the motive when he said ahead of the vote, “I hope there’s some rational Democrats who say that we really shouldn’t have open borders.”
- Senate Republicans Vote Against Focus on Domestic Terrorism: One month ago, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas noted that, “domestic violent extremism poses the greatest terrorism related threat to our homeland.” Subsequent shootings have underscored the point in tragic detail. Yet Senate Republicans voted in unison against related legislation yesterday. As CNN reported, “Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked a bill designed to combat domestic terrorism from advancing … the vote comes as lawmakers are under intense pressure to take action in the wake of multiple recent episodes of horrific gun violence … [new domestic terror offices at DHS, DOJ, and FBI established by the legislation] would track and analyze domestic terrorist activity with the goal of better preparing the federal government to identify risks in order to take preventative action. The bill creates a requirement for biannual reporting on domestic terrorism threats. It also calls for assessments of the threat posed specifically by White supremacists and neo-Nazis.”
The following is a statement from Vanessa Cárdenas, Deputy Director of America’s Voice:
Rather than address gun safety or tackle domestic extremism in the aftermath of the mass-murder of elementary school children and the targeted racial killings by a white supremacist, Senate Republicans saw fit to demand a vote to block President Biden’s efforts to improve our asylum system and reduce chaos at the border while voting against and threatening to block real substantive ways forward to address gun safety and white supremacist violence. On top of this crass move, they blocked a domestic terrorism measure.
This is the politics of today’s GOP on display: ugly nativisim, a raw quest for political power, and an unwillingness to confront the rise of domestic terrorism carried out by white supremacists. This is not how a normal political party functions. This is not how a healthy democracy functions. Republicans are standing between vast majorities of the American people and progress on a range of issues, including sensible gun safety laws and sensible immigration reform. We need the American people to see how radical the Republican Party has become before it’s too late.
What a sad encapsulation of the current Republican Party and their counter-majoritarian priorities.