March 2, 2024

A Republican lawmaker has gone off on Donald Trump for tanking the Senate bipartisan border deal while failing to actually address immigration issues himself.

After demanding more restrictive immigration policies for years, Republican lawmakers have acted fast to kill the bill revealed Sunday. Some Republicans think that any compromise with Democrats is an automatic non-starter, but many others were working out of loyalty to Trump. They didn’t want to potentially hand Joe Biden a win on immigration.

Trump hailed the bill’s failure Tuesday night, writing on Truth Social that “ALL A PRESIDENT HAS TO DO IS SAY, ‘CLOSE THE BORDER,’ AND THE BORDER WILL BE CLOSED. A COSTLY NEW BILL IS NOT NECESSARY!”

It’s an argument Trump has repeatedly made, but in reality, the U.S. president cannot unilaterally seal off the border. If the position had that power, it’s likely Trump would have used it during his time in office.

Representative Chip Roy lashed out at Trump for making this claim. “No, we’re not going to just pass the buck and say that, ‘Oh, any president can walk in and secure the border.’ I saw former President Trump make that allegation earlier today on one of his social media posts,” he said Tuesday night on the House floor.

“Well, with all due respect, that didn’t happen in 2017, -18, -19, and -20. There were millions of people who came into the United States during those four years.”

Roy doesn’t support the bipartisan bill and instead would prefer more extreme measures. He expressed opposition to the deal on Monday, saying the package authors “don’t know what they’re talking about.”

He criticized the measure for allowing 5,000 average daily migrant encounters at the border before the border gets shut down. “If you set a standard of about 5,000, the cartels will go ah, I get it. 4,999? You got it,” Roy said, in a horrifically racist take.

But the Texas Republican is growing increasingly frustrated with his party’s inability to achieve any of its goals. Roy lost it on the House floor in November, criticizing Republicans for failing to follow through on a single campaign promise.

“One thing. I want my Republican colleagues to give me one thing. One. That I can go campaign on and say we did,” Roy said. “One!”

“Talked a big game about building a wall and having Mexico pay for it. Ain’t no wall, and Mexico didn’t pay for it, and we didn’t pass any border security.”