Murray on Senate Republicans Voting Down Comprehensive Supplemental: They Will Be “Telling the World American Leadership Has Been Hollowed Out by Republican Obstruction”
***WATCH: Senator Murray’s floor remarks***
“By voting it down, Republicans will be telling our allies our word cannot be trusted, telling dictators like Putin that our threats are not serious, and telling the world American leadership has been hollowed out by Republican obstructionism,” said Senator Murray. “And let’s be clear: they will be telling the American people they don’t want to solve the crisis at our border—they want to campaign on it.”
“Republicans went from ‘we demand border policy changes’ to ‘no policy is needed.’ They went from ‘we need time to look at the bill’ to ‘dead on arrival’ in less than 24 hours. What changed?” continued Senator Murray. “Donald Trump ordered Republicans to kill the bipartisan border deal.”
Senator Murray concluded her remarks by urging her colleagues to stand together to pass the comprehensive bipartisan supplemental package that they helped negotiate: “Today is a day to decide. Today is a vote about whether we, as United States Senators, will keep our word when we negotiate with each other. Today is a day we, as United States Senators, will vote to show we will work together to stand up for American interests and national security at home and abroad. And today is a day we, as Senators, show the world that we are a country who stands behind our word and stands with our allies and works past politics to do what’s right for this country and the people we were sent here to represent.”
As Senator Murray noted in her speech: for months, Senate Republicans insisted that neither executive action nor new resources to address challenges at our border would be sufficient; to pass Ukraine aid, Democrats would have to agree to border policy changes as well:
- As Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) explained yesterday: “It was my side that wanted to tackle the border issue. We started it.”
- In December, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) said: “I think there’s a misunderstanding on the part of Senator Schumer and some of our Democratic friends. This is not a traditional negotiation, where we expect to come up with a bipartisan compromise on the border. This is a price that has to be paid in order to get the supplemental.”
- Republican Conference Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) said: “If there’s gonna be a national security bill, it’s going to absolutely have to include border security measures—or there’s not going to be a national security bill.”
- In November, Republican Whip John Thune (R-SD) said: Democrats “just need to understand that our members are dead serious about having border security.”
Senator Murray’s full remarks, as delivered, are below:
“M. President, I come to speak before the vote today, but I do hope that all of my colleagues heard the Senator from Oklahoma—heard his powerful words, especially the last several minutes and pause to think about it. They were critically important for each one of us to think about, and I thank the Senator for all of his work on this and his powerful statement just now.
“But M. President, if you want to understand why people can’t stand politics: watch how many Republicans vote against this bill.
“Some of my colleagues do not seem to understand that this is not a game.
“There is a war happening right now in Ukraine where our allies are being gunned down, and Putin is rolling his tanks into their homeland.
“There is a war happening right now between Israel and Hamas.
“There are civilians at this very moment caught in the crossfire.
“There are partners in the Indo-Pacific wondering if they can count on us.
“And let’s not forget: there is the border—the site of countless Republican photo ops—where we have a genuine need for reforms and resources.
“That’s the moment we’re in. That’s the moment this package is meant to address.
“And by voting it down, Republicans will be telling our allies our word cannot be trusted, telling dictators like Putin that our threats are not serious, and telling the world American leadership has been hollowed out by Republican obstructionism.
“And let’s be clear: they will be telling the American people they don’t want to solve the crisis at our border—they want to campaign on it.
“Because if you genuinely believe something is a crisis—you take any step you can to address it. You don’t let a fire burn because Donald Trump wants to campaign on ashes.
“We’ve heard a lot of talk from Republicans about the border, about countering the Chinese government, about supporting Israel and standing up to Putin. But governing is about action! Governing is about compromise. Governing is about standing behind your word in order to solve problems.
“And I’m sorry to say that despite the talk from many Republicans about continuing to support Ukraine, they have yet to join us in actually voting for serious aid to Ukraine since last Congress.
“As the Minority Leader admitted yesterday—this was all because his side—Republicans—insisted, insisted, Ukraine aid be tied to border policies—a standard, by the way, that they have not applied to any of our other allies and one that tells every country who would partner with us: ‘you better hope you don’t become leverage for an unrelated, partisan demand.’
“It was an absurd request—I have said so from the start.
“But so much hangs in the balance. So Democrats listened to them, took them at their word, and have been glued to the negotiating table in order to address this problem, and I want to thank from the bottom of my heart—Senator Sinema, Senator Lankford, Senator Murphy. They worked long and hard to hammer out a deal on border policies—one that is, quite frankly—more conservative than many of us like, myself included.
“But I worked tirelessly with my Vice Chair, the senior Senator from Maine, to ensure the border resources were there to help address this problem, and through listening and compromising and working together in good faith, we reached a bipartisan agreement to fund the border policies that others negotiated.
“And now, after saying they had to have both of these in the package in order to support it, Republicans are now poised to kill it.
“Republicans went from ‘we demand border policy changes’ to ‘no policy is needed.’
“They went from ‘we need time to look at the bill’ to ‘dead on arrival’ in less than 24 hours.
"They went from ‘the border is a crisis right now’ to ‘it can wait until November’ in the blink of an eye—and will not support the bipartisan policy nor the bipartisan funding.
“What changed? What changed?
“Donald Trump ordered Republicans to kill the bipartisan border deal.
“Trump has not been subtle. He has literally said, ‘please blame it on me,’ if this deal goes down in flames and there is no action on the border.
“And M. President, we are going to see today just how many Republicans fall in line, and it may well be most of them.
“But M. President, I would remind my colleagues: the American people are the ones who sent us here—not Donald Trump.
“They are the ones we should answer to—not Donald Trump.
“And I think we all know the folks back home sent us here to solve problems—to solve problems—not to block bipartisan solutions.
“They want us to work together. They want us to make progress—even when it is not perfect.
“And frankly—if that doesn’t convince you to support this bill, if you are still thinking about what’s good politics, not good policy, I still don’t know why you would listen to Donald Trump. Because solving problems—that is good politics.
“Maintaining America’s national security—that is good politics.
“So I hope all of my Republican colleagues will think about this vote carefully.
“How long will you give Donald Trump a permanent veto over whatever policy he decides he doesn’t like or isn’t helpful to him personally?
“I have to ask: what is the point of being a senator if you let Donald Trump make all of the decisions for you?
“It wasn’t so long ago that Donald Trump incited an actual insurrection. We all had to flee or barricade ourselves into our offices!
“Did any of my colleagues on the other side think you would let that same man dictate what policy you could or couldn’t even debate?
“It was just 3 short years ago that some of you on the other side and so many of us voted to remove Trump from office!
“I ask my colleagues, please, listen when I say: today is a critical vote. Today is a day to decide.
“Today is a vote about whether we, as United States Senators, will keep our word when we negotiate with each other.
“Today is a day we, as United States Senators, will vote to show we will work together to stand up for American interests and national security at home and abroad.
“And today is a day we, as Senators, show the world that we are a country who stands behind our word and stands with our allies and works past politics to do what’s right for this country and the people we were sent here to represent.
“I hope my colleagues will think about that long and hard—and then I sincerely hope they will do the right thing and abandon the MAGA politics.
“There is so much work we have left to do together moving forward—and you should all know me well enough to know I’m always ready to work together, not against one another.
“So M. President, even if this vote fails, I am determined to not let partisanship win the day. We are going to try again to pass a package that gets our allies the aid they so desperately need, and I hope before we get to that, that every senator in this body listens to what the senator from Oklahoma said and thinks about what their word means for the people who sent them here to do the right thing for our country.
“Thank you, M. President.”
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