The $118 billion border deal linking aid for Ukraine and Israel to changes in immigration policy may be a bipartisan creation, but in the Granite State, reaction is falling along party lines.
In Washington, D.C., it’s got President Joe Biden’s support. “Now we’ve reached an agreement on a bipartisan national security deal that includes the toughest and fairest set of border reforms in decades. I strongly support it,” Biden said in a statement.
And in New Hampshire, the deal — which approves $60 billion in aid for Ukraine and another $14 billion for Israel — has the backing of the state’s two U.S. senators. Jeanne Shaheen endorsed the deal as soon as it was released. Her colleague Maggie Hassan waited until Monday afternoon to post her support on social media.
“The bipartisan security package will strengthen our border security, provide critical aid to Ukraine in its fight for freedom, and support Israel following Hamas’ terrorist attack. I urge my colleagues to pass it,” Hassan wrote.
Speaker of the House Mike Johnson and a key group of GOP leaders signed a letter Monday rejecting the legislation, which means it’s very unlikely to reach the floor for a vote. But if it does, Rep. Chris Pappas appears to be on board.
Pappas praised the forthcoming deal on Friday and said it “will actually put some tools on the table to help us solve this crisis at the southern border.”
Rep. Annie Kuster has been silent, but she has never voted against legislation backed by Biden and rarely breaks with her party. Neither representative responded to a request for comment regarding the border bill.
Granite State Republicans, on the other hand, were more than happy to lay out exactly how they feel about the border+Ukraine+Israel package.
They hate it.
Republican Russell Prescott, a former state senator from Kingston and current candidate for the GOP nomination in the First Congressional District, issued a statement Monday deriding the bill.
“This Senate border package isn’t about border security,” Prescott said. “Frankly, it’s more about additional funding to Ukraine than it is about anything else.
“If I were in Congress, I would be a strong ‘no’ on this package, but I also would be a vocal advocate for everyone to get back to the drawing board and find a solution immediately.”
Businesswoman Hollie Noveletsky, another candidate in the GOP primary, said she “completely supports Speaker Johnson” and opposes the bill.
“I am hearing from voters across New Hampshire’s First Congressional District that they want the border closed, and it is a top priority of my campaign,” she added. “I would not support this legislation as a member of Congress.”
The Republicans running for governor also spoke out against the deal.
“Only in Washington, D.C. would the so-called ‘solution’ to the Biden administration’s lawlessness be to concoct watered-down legislation that fails to secure our borders and keep the American people safe,” former U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte said in a statement. “President Biden should stop abusing his authority, wake up, and secure the Southern and Northern borders NOW.”
Former state Senate president Chuck Morse denounced the deal as an “amnesty plan.”
“With a record number of illegal crossings occurring daily, we are witnessing a severe national security and humanitarian crisis. We cannot turn a blind eye to the chaos that this legislation may exacerbate – this swamp bill legalizes up to 5,000 illegal crossings a day!
“I call upon everyone and anyone who has access to Republican United States senators to urge them to oppose this open border amnesty plan. We need policies that prioritize border security, uphold the rule of law, and protect the interests of American citizens.”
Immigration has emerged as a hot topic in the governor’s race, in part due to the turmoil in neighboring Massachusetts, where communities have had their recreation centers confiscated to house illegal migrants, and Gov. Maura Healey (D) pleading with the public to open their homes to the undocumented. Healey is an advocate of so-called “sanctuary” policies.
Healey has also endorsed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joyce Craig, a longtime supporter of sanctuary city policies. Craig has declined to respond to repeated questions about whether she would support such policies as governor. Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington, also seeking the Democratic nomination, has joined Craig in refusing to discuss her stance on sanctuary policies and immigration enforcement.
Both Democrats declined to respond to requests for comment about the Biden-backed budget deal.
Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director for the Center for Immigration Studies, told NHJournal the bill “will do nothing to help with the crisis.”
“This bill simply codifies many of the disastrous Biden policies that caused the crisis to begin with, such as catch-and-release of illegal border crossers, handing out work permits to illegal migrants, and handing out money to crony NGOs (non-government organizations), contractors and sanctuary jurisdictions,” Vaughn said. “Not only that, it actually increases chain migration and employment green cards by 50,000 a year for five years — as if we haven’t had enough immigration.
“It’s hard to see how they will get 25 Senate Republicans to vote to move this bill forward, and even harder to imagine that the House will take it up,” added Vaughn. “We should all hope that this bill dies a swift death, and then Congress can move on to working out the spending bills, where they can wield their authority to mandate that taxpayer funds are appropriated and used for border security, not more services for illegal migrants.”