Adam S. Olsen- Washington, D.C.
May 20, 2024

While the House will reconvene tomorrow for votes at 6:30 P.M. for a very brief schedule this week, the Senate is in session today and will reconvene at 3:00 P.M. and following Leader remarks, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session to resume consideration of the nomination of Krissa Lanham, to be US District Judge for the District of Arizona.  At 5:30 P.M., the Senate will vote on confirmation of the nomination of Seth Robert Aframe to be United States Circuit Judge for the First Circuit.

This week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) is pushing ahead with a second attempt at passing the bipartisan border bill, after Senate Republicans blocked it earlier this year, a move that comes as the situation at the southern border remains top of mind for voters ahead of the November elections.  In a letter, yesterday Leader Schumer announced that the Senate will take up the bipartisan border deal as a standalone measure this week. The vote is all but certain to fail amid opposition on both sides of the aisle, but it will allow Democratic leaders to flip the messaging switch on Republicans as the border dominates chatter on the campaign trail.  Previously, a bipartisan group of senators — James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-Arizona) — launched talks to craft a bipartisan border deal last year, after Republicans said that any aid for Ukraine must be paired with legislation to address the situation at the southern border.  The three unveiled legislation in February — following months of painstaking negotiations — that would raise standards for asylum screening, end the practice known as “catch and release” and provide a new authority to close the border to most migrants when crossings reach a set threshold, among other provisions.

But after strong encouragement from former President Donald Trump, most Republicans voted against advancing the legislation, forcing Democratic leaders to abandon the proposal and pass foreign aid independently. Congress finally approved a foreign aid package in April, which President Joe Biden signed into law.

Adam S. Olsen, Washington, D.C.