10.07.21

Senate Democrats Block Passage of Daines’ Bill to Open Northern Border

U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines went to the floor of the U.S. Senate to try and pass his bill, the “Restoring Northern Border Travel Act,” which would require the Biden administration to open the northern border. Senate Democrats blocked passage of Daines’ bill, despite several of them saying they support opening the northern border.

Northern border uc

Watch and download the remarks HERE.

“While our southern border remains wide open to illegal drugs and illegal immigrants, many potentially COVID-positive or unvaccinated, our northern border remains closed because of President Biden. The hypocrisy here is incredible, it’s infuriating, and it’s unexplainable,” Daines said.

After Democrats blocked passage of Daines’ bill, he stated“I’m very disappointed to see Senate Democrats block my bill to reopen the northern border. Despite several Democrats saying they support reopening the border, they allowed politics to get in the way. Actions speak louder than words, and tonight, we saw Senate Democrats take the wrong action.”

Daines has been leading efforts in Congress to urge the Biden administration to open the northern border.  

Read the remarks as prepared for delivery:

Americans across the country, people around the world, and I believe everyone in this room, knows that President Biden is failing at our southern border. 

We’ve had months of record-shattering numbers of illegal immigrants crossing our southern border.

We’ve had unfathomable amounts of illegal drugs like Mexican meth, fentanyl and heroin coming into our country, making its way across the southern border and into states like my home state of Montana. 

Many of you have probably heard me say, “Montana is a northern border state, with a southern border crisis.” Well, it’s true. 

The crisis at our southern border, created by President Biden, is out of control and we all know that we must do something to change the status quo to protect our families and communities.   

But what I’m here to talk about today is how President Biden is also failing at our northern border, the border between the United States and Canada.

While our southern border remains wide open to illegal drugs and illegal immigrants, many potentially COVID-positive or unvaccinated, our northern border remains closed because of President Biden. 

The hypocrisy here is incredible, it’s infuriating, and it’s unexplainable.

There’s no reason behind President Biden’s decision. 

It can’t be because of COVID-19 or vaccination rates. 

Canadians are over 80% vaccinated. 80%.

Haitians on the other hand, those who are flooding our southern border by the thousands, have a less than 1% vaccination rate.

If COVID-19 and vaccination rates were the issue, then why did Prime Minister Trudeau lift his restrictions and start allowing Americans to travel to Canada on August 9th? 

Again, it makes no sense.

And who is paying the price for President Biden’s hypocrisy…?

Montanans are paying the price. Montana families and businesses are paying the price. Montana border communities, and northern border communities across the country, are paying the price.  

Biden and his inexplicable policies are hurting Montana’s economy, destroying jobs, shuttering our businesses and hurting our families.    

In fact, businesses in Great Falls, Montana, have reported that they’ve seen a 20-25% decrease in revenue due to the continued border closure.

This is sadly the story we hear from many communities and business owners across Montana as Canadians are no longer able to come visit our beautiful state.

Mr. President. This has been going on for too long. 

Since the President will not do the right thing, use commonsense, listen to Montanans and open our northern border, I’ve introduced a bill to do just that.

By the way, I’ve seen several of my colleagues across the aisle join me in calling on the Administration to reopen the northern border.

I’m grateful for that. But actions speak louder than words. 

Today, we have an opportunity to stop putting the power in the hands of Biden to make the right decision here because we know that won’t happen.

Today, we can pass my bill, the “Restoring Northern Border Travel Act,” and require the Biden administration to reopen the northern border.

Let’s help revitalize Montana and other northern border states’ economies, and put an end to this irrational closure and hypocrisy.

I urge my colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, to join me in passing my bill.

Mr. President, I yield back my time.

Background:

On September 20, 2021, Daines denounced President Biden for once again extending the closure of the northern border until at least October 21.

On September 1, 2021, Daines and Congresswoman Elise Stefanik called on Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi to take action on their bill, the “Restoring Northern Border Travel Act,” which would finally reopen the U.S.-Canada border.

On August 20, 2021, Daines blasted President Biden’s choice to extend the closure of the northern border despite Canada reopening the border for fully vaccinated Americans on August 9th. 

On August 9, 2021, Daines slammed President Biden for using COVID-19 as a ploy to keep the northern border closed to Montana families and businesses, while keeping the southern border wide open to illegal drugs and illegal immigrants, many of them potentially COVID-19 positive.

On June 24, 2021, Daines introduced a bill with Congresswoman Elise Stefanik to require the Biden administration to open the northern border.

On March 10, 2021, Daines sent a letter to the Biden Administration, urging them to safely reopen the border in support of Montana’s economy. 

On June 17, 2020, Daines sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security urging them to safely reopen the border as soon as possible.

On April 3, 2020, Daines urged U.S. Customs and Border Protection to keep Montana’s ports of entry open to Montana agricultural and trade during the pandemic.

On March 20, 2020, Daines wrote President Trump about the importance of trade and travel over the Canadian border during the pandemic. 

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Contact: Katherine McKeoghKatie Schoettler