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Trump says conservatives should 'celebrate' the defeat of the bipartisan border security bill: 'We crushed it'

Trump
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Conway, South Carolina.AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
  • Trump on Saturday cheered the collapse of the Senate's border security bill.

  • Trump railed against the legislation as an "open borders" bill backed by Biden.

  • Biden said he'll hold Trump responsible for any border security issues from now through November.

Former President Donald Trump on Saturday took a victory lap for helping tank the Senate's bipartisan border security legislation, a bill that the ex-president repeatedly criticized as he has sought to make immigration a central tenet of his 2024 campaign.

At a campaign rally in South Carolina, Trump, who had previously called on Republicans to reject the immigration bill, blasted the proposed legislation as "disastrous" and applauded its collapse in the Senate. The legislation would have overhauled the US asylum system, among other measures intended to strengthen security at the US-Mexico border.

"We also had another massive victory that every conservative should celebrate," Trump said. "We crushed … Joe Biden's disastrous open borders bill. [House Speaker] Mike Johnson did a very good job and the whole group did a great job in Congress."

"We crushed it," the former president emphasized.

Trump has rallied his supporters around immigration, which has been a major political liability for Biden, who has seen record apprehensions at the southern border during his presidency. Over the past year, polling has shown immigration to be an issue where the president has faltered significantly with voters.

Biden strongly backed the border security bill, arguing it would allow him to "shut down" the border whenever it became overwhelmed.

"If given that authority, I would use it the day I sign the bill into law," he said in a statement last month.

But leading conservatives on Capitol Hill panned the legislation, calling for the Senate to instead take up the far more restrictive HR 2 bill that the GOP-controlled House passed last year.

Meanwhile, Trump was calling on the GOP to reject the Senate bill, even saying that he'd take the blame if it faltered.

Last Wednesday, the border security bill failed in the Senate 49-50, well short of the 60 votes needed to advance the legislation. While five Democrats and one independent voted against the bill, only four Republicans backed it.

Biden is now seeking to move to the offense on immigration and vowed to hold Trump responsible for the bill's collapse.

"Every day between now and November, the American people are going to know that the only reason the border is not secure is Donald Trump and his MAGA Republican friends," the president said at the White House last week.

Read the original article on Business Insider