Jack Walker Published

Manchin Floats National Emergency Declaration For Border After Bill Failed

Close up of a man wearing a blue suit.
FILE - Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., speaks outside the chamber, at the Capitol in Washington, June 13, 2023. Manchin announced he won't seek reelection in 2024, giving Republicans a prime opportunity to pick up a seat in the heavily GOP state.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., appeared visibly exasperated at a virtual news conference Thursday over congressional inaction at the U.S. border.

During the call, Manchin voiced discontent over Republicans in the U.S. Senate who blocked a bipartisan bill Wednesday. The bill would have increased border security while also extending aid to Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan.

Manchin, like other Senate Democrats, alleged that Republicans voted against the bill to discredit President Joe Biden in advance of the presidential election.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers had developed the bill over four months. Manchin said these Republican lawmakers helped create the bill to earnestly address rapidly growing immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“These are not friends of Democrats or friends of Joe Biden. Take the politics out of it,” he said. “They saw it absolutely would make a big difference in what we can do, and how we do our jobs.”

The bill, which received support from the main union of U.S. border patrol agents, would have added 27,000 new border security jobs and raised standards for claiming asylum in the U.S.

“That was the easiest vote I think anyone could ever make,” Manchin said.

For Manchin, the bill’s failure marked a major blow to bipartisan politics in Washington, and the possibility of addressing immigration before the end of his tenure this year.

“It really reaffirmed why I’m not running again — why I don’t want to run again,” he said.

Manchin urged Biden to declare a national emergency over burgeoning immigration through the southern border, emphasizing the improbability of effective and timely bipartisan action.

Meanwhile, he said immigration issues should figure prominently in how members of the public vote in the upcoming presidential election.

“The damage has been done,” he said. “If you want to use the border as a reason you’re going to vote Joe Biden, you’ve got plenty of reasons to do it.”