Critics slam Biden border promise, say newfound concern driven by politics alone

 January 28, 2024

With the southern border crisis becoming a greater liability for President Joe Biden's re-election hopes by the day, the commander in chief appears to be panicking, as evidenced by his recent pledge to “shut down” the border if Congress gave him the authority to do so, as Politico reports.

Skeptics on the Republican side of the aisle, however, suggest that Biden's recent tough talk on the border is nothing more than a worried response to the toll the situation could have on his electoral prospects.

On Friday, Biden declared the need for Congress to pass a bill addressing the border crisis and went so far as to say that he would be willing to take drastic action to stem the tide of arrivals, as long as he was granted the requisite power.

“What's been negotiated would – if passed into law – be the toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border we've ever had in our country,” Biden stated.

He went on, “It would give me, as President, a new emergency authority to shut down the border when it becomes overwhelmed. And given that authority, I would use it the day I sign the bill into law.”

Biden's suggestion is evidence of growing concern about the political fallout of the escalating crisis and is also effectively a challenge to Republicans who might face repercussions of their own for failing to act.

Republicans advocating for such a deal have argued that it would compel Biden to act and would also set the stage for greater power to be wielded by the next person to occupy the Oval Office.

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) said on Thursday, “This is an opportunity to put laws on the books that someone who is genuinely interested in security the border will be able to use.”

“President Donald J. Trump in 2017 asked for laws like this. We're going to deliver it and if he becomes president, he'll be glad that we did,” Tillis added.

However, those on the more conservative end of the GOP spectrum suggests that the thresholds of arrival needed to trigger enhanced authority included in the bill are too lenient to make a dent in the problem.

Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) explained, “It looks like a bill...that generally baselines this level so much higher than even the Obama administration.”

“To me, that looks like a Democratic victory. And I think that's where most of the Republican Party is, I think that's where Trump is, and I think that's where the House is,” Braun added.

Braun's take on where House Republicans likely stand may well be accurate, as evidenced by comments made by Rep. Tom Emmer during a recent interview with Fox News' Neil Cavuto, as The Hill explained.

“The only reason that President Biden is even interested in discussing this issue, Neil, is because it has now become a political liability for the White House,” Emmer said, adding that unless Biden brings back Trump-era policies including “Remain in Mexico,” there is little chance that sufficient votes can be raised even to bring a proposed deal to the floor.