WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) on Sunday joined CNN’s State of the Union to discuss bipartisan negotiations on the national security supplemental.
On the status of the bipartisan negotiations, Murphy said: “We do have a bipartisan deal…We are sort of finalizing last pieces of text right now and this bill could be ready to be on the floor of the United States Senate next week. But it won't be if Republicans decide that they want to keep this issue unsettled for political purposes. So I was glad to hear the president come out and speak forcefully in favor of this bill. I am hopeful that we will still have enough Republicans in the Senate who want to fix the problem at the border rather than just do Donald Trump's bidding, but we will see over the next 24 to 48 hours whether that's true.”
On Republican support for this bill, Murphy said: “Well, I hope that we have the Republican support for this bill. And I think that there are many Republicans in the Senate who are sincere about trying to come together and do our job. And listen, right now, the President does not have the tools that he needs in order to stop the flow of 10,000 people a day, to better manage the asylum system. So let's come together and give him those tools.”
On the stakes of failure, Murphy said: “But let's also be cognizant of the fact that if we don't pass this bill, Ukraine won't get its military funding. Remember the whole reason that we are talking about the border, because the Republicans have said they will let Vladimir Putin march his army in and through Ukraine if we don't pass a bill that includes border provisions and Ukraine funding. So the consequence of failure here is not just that we keep immigration as an open issue available for Donald Trump to exploit in the next election. It is also that Ukraine loses this war, and that Russia marches its army to the edge of Europe. That would be catastrophic for the United States and for the whole world. So the stakes here are high, the consequences of failure are enormous. And I do have confidence that enough Republicans in the Senate are going to join us to pass this bipartisan legislation potentially, as early as the next week or two. And we can show that Washington can still stand up and work on these big problems, even if Donald Trump is rooting for chaos.”
Murphy highlighted some of the tools this bill would give the president to better manage the asylum system: “This bill will include an ability for the President to shut down the border in between the ports of entry when crossings reach catastrophically high levels, not permanently, but until we are able to better process people that are crossing the border. It also reforms the asylum system. Right now, as you know, Dana, it takes sometimes five to 10 years for somebody to get their asylum claim heard. That's not fair to anybody, including the migrant that it takes that long. We would shorten that timeframe down to six months in some cases. And then it would get people work permits faster. Right now, what we know is that these people are coming into the country and are on our streets or in our homeless shelters. So we would make sure that folks who are coming to the country who are applying for asylum have the ability to work. That's something that our mayors and our governors really want.”
Murphy pushed back on Republicans who argue President Biden has existing authorities to manage the border: “It's a political talking point. Those same Republicans in the House of Representatives who say President Biden has the tools introduced H.R. 2, which is a massive border reform bill. They said it was one of their most important priorities. And so Republicans have said openly they want to pass border and immigration reform. All of a sudden they are against border and immigration reform because they are worried it's actually going to pass. And many Republicans in the House and some in the Senate actually have no plans to help the President control the border because they want to keep the border in a chaotic situation for political purposes.”