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A border bill did not pass a test vote in the Senate, highlighting Democrats’ efforts to emphasize Republican opposition

Mitch McConnell speaks at the event (Via Jack Cummins/Shutterstock)

Senate Republicans once more blocked a bill aimed at restricting the number of migrants eligible to seek asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer sought to emphasize GOP opposition to the proposal on Thursday.

The legislation, negotiated by a bipartisan group of senators, had previously been rejected by most Republicans in February when it was linked to a foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and other U.S. allies.

With immigration and border security becoming key issues in this year’s election, Democrats are looking to respond to strong criticism from Republicans, particularly led by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

“We offered Republicans another opportunity to show their stance,” said Schumer, a Democrat from New York, after the vote. “Do they want to address this so-called crisis or do they want to demonstrate unwavering loyalty to the former president, even when they know he’s mistaken?”

Alejandro Mayorkas speaks at the event (Via Jack Cummins/Shutterstock)

Schumer is defending a narrow Senate majority in this election year and views the Republicans’ rejection of their negotiated deal as a political advantage for Democrats. Alongside highlighting Republican resistance to popular measures, Schumer plans to advance a bill in June aimed at protecting access to contraception.

The Democratic leader indicated this move would “clarify where everyone stands, and in June, we’ll spend significant time discussing reproductive rights.”

On Thursday, most Senate Democrats supported the procedural vote to initiate debate on the border bill, but it failed to move forward, with a vote of 43-50, as all but one Republican, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, voted against it. In February, a similar test vote fell short at 49-50, well below the 60 votes required for advancement.

This time, even some of the bill’s key sponsors, Senators James Lankford, a Republican from Oklahoma, and Kyrsten Sinema, an independent from Arizona, did not support Schumer’s maneuver.

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