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Trump says ‘blame it on me’ if border bill fails

Former President Trump told his supporters during a rally in Nevada that he is fine with being blamed for tanking the bipartisan border bill currently negotiated in the Senate. 

While speaking to an animated crowd of backers in Las Vegas, Nev., Trump, the current GOP front-runner, appeared to welcome the potential blame he could face if successfully persuading Republicans in Congres to tank the bipartisan border security bill.  

“As the leader of our party, there is zero chance I will support this horrible open borders betrayal of America,” Trump told his supporters on Saturday. “I’ll fight it all the way. A lot of the senators are trying to say, respectfully, they’re blaming it on me. I say, that’s okay. Please blame it on me. Please.”

Trump joins House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) in slamming President Biden who on Friday said he would shut down the U.S.-Mexico border when it “becomes overwhelmed” if Congress manages to pass bipartisan border legislation. 

“Let’s be clear,” Biden said in a statement on Friday. “What’s been negotiated would — if passed into law — be the toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border we’ve ever had in our country. It would give me, as President, a new emergency authority to shut down the border when it becomes overwhelmed. And if given that authority, I would use it the day I sign the bill into law.”

Trump’s posture during the rally in Nevada was similar to his messaging on Truth Social from Saturday morning where he slammed the border bill as a “catastrophe waiting to happen.” 

The bipartisan border security bill is negotiated in the Senate, but if it passes through the upper chamber, it might not survive the House. On Friday, in a letter to his colleagues, Johnson said that the legislation would be “dead” as soon as it reaches the lower chamber if the rumored terms about it remain intact. 

Trump said that if Biden wanted to “secure” the border, he doesn’t need to pass legislation. 

“I did it without a bill,” Trump said in Nevada. 

Trump’s remarks are similar to Johnson’s, who on Saturday similarly denounced Biden, pointing the president to use executive action to cut down on the number of total encounters at the border. In December, the number surpassed 300,000, according to The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP). 

“As I explained to him [Biden] in a letter late last year, and have specifically reiterated to him on multiple occasions since, he can and must take executive action immediately to reverse the catastrophe he has created,” Johnson said

Former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke slammed Trump’s comments during his appearance on CNN, saying that Trump and the GOP do not want to solve problems and they are ruining the “best” offer from the White House and Democrats in the upper chamber. 

“It is very clear that Donald Trump and his Republican Party do not wanna a solution,” O’Rourke said Saturday. “For all of the bluster about the chaos at the border and ‘invasion’ that they are talking about, he and his Republican party are tanking the best offer that they’re ever gonna get from President Biden and from Senate Democrats.” 

Rep. Robert Garcia (D-Calif.) had similar thoughts when reacting to Trump’s address in Nevada.  

“He would rather have chaos, he would rather have nothing happen, than actually some type of solution,” Garcia said during his appearance on CNN Saturday.

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