Nikki Haley slams Trump for attempting to torpedo border deal

Nikki Haley hosts a rally in North Charleston to kick off her swing in the Palmetto State leading up to the State’s primay, in Charleston, South Caroline, United States on January 24, 2024. 

Peter Zay | Anadolu | Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley took aim at GOP frontrunner Donald Trump on Sunday for his attempts to further delay a bipartisan border deal that has been deadlocked in Congress for months.

“Donald Trump, the last thing he needs to do is tell them to wait to pass the border deal until the election. We can’t wait one more day,” Haley said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

She joins a chorus of calls for Congress to hurry up and reach an agreement on border security. Notably absent from the people demanding lawmakers strike a deal: Trump. He has been vocal about urging GOP lawmakers not to pass the border bill unless it checks every box on the Republican party’s wish list.

“Please blame it on me, please, because they were getting ready to pass a very bad bill. I’d rather have no bill than a bad bill,” Trump said at a rally in Las Vegas on Saturday.

Delaying the deal in an election year allows Trump to keep blaming President Joe Biden, his likely opponent in the 2024 general election, for the ongoing border crisis and preserve one of his essential campaign talking points.

“The fact is that if Joe Biden truly wanted to secure the border, he doesn’t really need a bill,” Trump said Saturday.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers have been going back and forth on the deal since at least October when Biden initially proposed an emergency funding package to support Ukraine and Israel and to reinforce the U.S. southern border.

Since then, the package has been at a stalemate with the border becoming a primary sticking point.

Congressmembers have assured that they are making progress on reaching a resolution. For example, Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut on Sunday reiterated that the deal’s text could be finished within the next few weeks. But Biden and other officials have repeatedly pressed lawmakers to move faster on their negotiations.

As the border situation simmers, it has become a top voting issue in the 2024 presidential race, one that Biden has polled poorly on.

In the meantime, the crisis at the border has worsened as record numbers of migrants make the dangerous trek to the U.S. The influx has overwhelmed cities across the nation, which say that they do not have adequate infrastructure to provide basic necessities for the incoming migrants.

House Republicans have been trying to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for the border crisis, which they say represents a dereliction of his duty. On Sunday, they released their formal articles of impeachment, a next step in the impeachment effort.

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