GOP eyes linking Title 42 to coronavirus deal
Republicans are eyeing an attempt to link a Trump-era immigration policy to a coronavirus relief deal that senators are hoping to pass by the end of the week.
GOP senators are pushing for a vote targeting the Biden administration’s decision to end Title 42 — which allowed migrants at the border to be summarily expelled from the country instead of being processed under regular immigration rules and allowed to exercise their right to claim asylum — as part of a debate over a $10 billion coronavirus relief deal announced earlier Monday.
In order to pass the $10 billion coronavirus aid deal before the chamber leaves for a two-week break, Senate leadership is going to need cooperation from all 100 senators. That could give Republicans leverage to push for an amendment vote.
“It seems like there’s kind of critical mass behind that idea. How the Democrats want to handle that issue may have some bearing on how and when the COVID bill proceeds,” said Sen. John Thune (S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican.
Thune added that if Democrats want to pass the coronavirus bill this week, they are going to have to negotiate with Republicans to speed things up.
Republicans would need a decision by the Senate parliamentarian but think an amendment related to Title 42 would qualify for getting a simple majority vote — if Democrats let it come up.
That could put Democrats in a politically awkward spot. Several Senate Democrats have been critical of the administration’s decision to end the Trump-era policy. Because of the 50-50 Senate, Republicans would need only one of those Democrats to vote for their amendment to get it added into a coronavirus relief bill.
In addition to trying to get changes into the coronavirus bill, Republicans are expected to focus on the border heading into November.
The administration on Friday rescinded Title 42, the Trump-era policy that allows for the rapid expulsion of migrants at the border and blocks them from seeking asylum.
The order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lifts Title 42 on May 23.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) called its striking “a frightening decision” for an administration “nowhere near prepared” for an influx at the border.
Meanwhile, Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), who is up for reelection, called it “the wrong decision.”
“It’s unacceptable to end Title 42 without a plan and coordination in place to ensure a secure, orderly, and humane process at the border,” Kelly wrote.
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