President Obama was behind the effort to table Sen. John Cornyn’s border security amendment, Politico’s Carrie Budoff Brown and Manu Raju report this morning.
According to the report, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., came up with his idea of a “border surge” after President Obama refused to accept the idea of a 90 percent trigger – a component of Cornyn’s amendment blocking citizenship for existing illegal immigrants unless a 90 percent apprehension rate of potential border crossers was reached.
Over a shaky line — they had to be reconnected twice — Obama told Schumer that the 90 percent trigger was unacceptable. Schumer said they were trying to find a different benchmark, and Obama told him to keep working toward an agreement.
This is why Cornyn’s border security amendment was tabled in the Senate yesterday and work began on a new amendment with Sen. John Hoeven R-N.D. and Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. As the Washington Examiner’s Byron York notes this morning, the new Hoeven-Corker plan doesn’t have a trigger.
Republicans are interested in the amendment, however, because it offers $30 billion worth of funding for border security – including a “surge” of 20,000 border security agents and the completion of a 700 mile fence.