Romney rips ‘clueless’ Democrats for trying to negotiate border spending

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, says Republicans want the border “closed” as part of a potential congressional agreement for additional emergency spending requested by the White House and criticized “clueless” Democrats who want to negotiate border provisions. “Dems want $106B—GOP wants a closed border. That’s the trade. But clueless Dems want to negotiate the border bill. Not going to happen,” Romney said on X, formerly Twitter. “Is an open border more important to Dems than Ukraine and Israel?” Republicans and Democrats have been struggling to find common ground over how to handle the crisis at the southern border as part of a supplemental spending agreement that includes border security and funding to Ukraine and Israel. REPUBLICANS CLOSE RANKS, DEMAND DEMS FACE BORDER CRISIS AS BIDEN UKRAINE AID PLAN HANGS IN BALANCE  The White House requested $14 billion to help it deal with the massive crisis at the southern border. The request includes $6.4 billion for “border operations,” which includes $4.4 billion for holding facilities and reimbursement of support from the Pentagon. It also includes money for DNA collection and over $1.9 billion for Health and Human Services “to support eligible arrivals and unaccompanied children.”  Related to migrant care is $1.4 billion for shelter and services for migrants released from DHS custody. This is in addition to $800 million distributed to states and non-governmental organizations by the administration to aid the many migrants who have been released into the U.S. interior. But Republicans want to see higher standards for asylum, limits on parole and other inclusions to make it harder for migrants to be released into the U.S. interior.  House conservatives have been pushing Speaker Mike Johnson to refuse to accept anything less than H.R. 2, the GOP’s marquee border bill, which would reinstate Trump administration-era measures such as Remain In Mexico and restart border wall construction. SENATE DEMS SAY ANY CHANGES TO ASYLUM SYSTEM MUST BE COUPLED WITH AMNESTY FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has teed up a vote on Biden’s aid request for later this week, but so far GOP leadership is urging a no vote until there are “meaningful” changes at the border. Meanwhile, some Senate Democrats have said policy changes should not go ahead unless they are linked to an amnesty for illegal immigrants already in the U.S. “As negotiations surrounding the supplemental aid package progress, we are concerned about reports of harmful changes to our asylum system that will potentially deny lifesaving humanitarian protection for vulnerable people, including children, and fail to deliver any meaningful improvement to the situation at the border,” a coalition of 11 Democratic senators said Wednesday.  “Using a one-time spending package to enact these unrelated permanent policy changes sets a dangerous precedent and risks assistance to our international partners,” they said. “Any proposal considering permanent changes to our asylum and immigration system needs to include a clear path to legalization for long-standing undocumented immigrants.” Fox News’ Liz Elkind contributed to this report.
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