Schumer-backed border bill fails a second time with even less Dem support

The Senate failed to advance a border bill backed by some Democrats and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on Thursday, seeing the measure garner less support than it did in February when it was first considered.

By a vote of 43-50, senators chose not to advance the bill, which was negotiated in a bipartisan nature by Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., and James Lankford, R-Okla.

Both Lankford and Sinema sided against their own legislation, a departure from their previous votes.

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Schumer brought back up a Democrat-backed border bill as Republicans united to block the attempt. (Getty Images)

In a speech ahead of the vote, Sinema denounced political theater on both sides of the aisle, hitting Republicans for turning their back on the bill and Democrats for choosing to bring it up again without working to gain support.

“Today, the Senate is proving what many Americans already think about Congress: that Senators come here for political games, not to deliver results,” Sinema said in a statement.

Lankford also slammed Democrats on the floor for reviving the bill for what he said was a political purpose.

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Both Sens. Lankford and Sinema voted against their bill. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

“We all know the situation at the border is unacceptable and demands attention from Congress,” Schumer told his colleagues prior to the vote. “Democrats believe that, Republicans have been saying it, and that’s why three months ago we sat down with them to write a strong and necessary and bipartisan border security bill.”

Several Republicans held a press conference on Wednesday, during which they shredded the forthcoming vote, even claiming the measure was “worse than doing nothing” because of certain immigration provisions. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., slammed the planned vote as an “election year political stunt” to protect several vulnerable incumbent Democrats in swing states.

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Republicans shredded the attempt in a press conference. (Getty Images)

Prior to the vote, House leadership, including Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., and Republican conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., said the bill would not see the light of day in the lower chamber. According to them, it would be “dead on arrival.

Instead, the leaders of Republicans in the House pointed to the H.R. 2 border legislation that was previously sent to the Senate and includes many GOP priorities as it relates to the southern border.

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The House GOP leaders said the legislation would have no chance in the lower chamber. (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

Schumer rejected calls to take up H.R. 2, on Thursday, claiming, “If anything is political theater, it’s H.R. 2. It’s not designed to solve the problem. It’s designed to make a political point.”

The measure initially failed a procedural hurdle in February by a vote of 49-50, falling short of the necessary 60. Between then and now, the bill lost support from both Democrats and Republicans.

Julia Johnson is a politics writer for Fox News Digital and Fox Business, leading coverage of the U.S. Senate. She was previously a politics reporter at the Washington Examiner. 

Follow Julia’s reporting on X at @JuliaaJohnson_ and send tips to [email protected].

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