GOP Senate candidate slams Democrats’ plan to re-up immigration push: ‘Height of cynicism’

By Samantha-Jo Roth
Washington Examiner
May 21, 2024

Pennsylvania Senate Republican candidate Dave McCormick is sounding off on the Senate’s move to take up a bipartisan border security agreement, calling the legislation “problematic” following a trip to the southern border in Arizona over the weekend.

“I honestly think it’s the height of cynicism. I really do because I think the power to stop the flow, the enormous flow of migrants into the country is in the hands of President Biden,” McCormick said during an interview with the Washington Examiner on Monday.

McCormick, who is challenging incumbent Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D-PA) in a high-profile Senate race, previously came out against the bipartisan Senate bill when it was first introduced. He is now redoubling his criticism that the bill doesn’t do enough to secure the southern border while utilizing resources to expedite the asylum process. 

“We’ve lost sight of the fact that our border is completely out of control,” McCormick said. 

McCormick’s criticism comes after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wrote a letter to his colleagues announcing the plan to vote on the bill initially negotiated by Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT), Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), and James Lankford (R-OK).

The legislation failed in the Senate earlier this year after only four Republicans voted to move forward with the bill while six Democrats voted against it, ensuring the measure fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance.

A second vote on the failed legislation will force lawmakers to go on the record on a politically complex issue ahead of the November election while Republicans continue to highlight Biden’s challenges securing the border.

Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) are seeking reelection in heavily Republican states, while Sens. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) all face tough battles in key swing states for the presidential election.

McCormick, a Gulf War combat veteran, referenced a trip to Yuma, Arizona, over the weekend to tour the U.S.-Mexico border and witness the situation overnight. He said that he believed there needs to be “new leadership” and that he could be a “really strong voice on this.”

“While we were there, literally two in the morning, like 50 or 60 people came across the border right in front of where I was standing. And just in that group of 50, there were five military-age males from Syria and there were four or five Chinese nationals,” McCormick said.

Recent polling continues to indicate that immigration is a top concern for voters. RealClearPolitics polling average shows 62.4% disapprove of Biden’s handling of immigration. The White House has attempted to keep the focus on congressional Republicans who came out against a bipartisan border bill, which included some of the most strict border security measures in years, ahead of the November election.

McCormick pushed back against the idea that he may not commit to bipartisan negotiations despite his disapproval of the deal.

“I think it would be unfair to read into — because I didn’t support this, for the reasons I’ve said, that I’m not able to compromise and find common ground,” McCormick said. “I’m not a career politician, anyone who has ever run a company, anyone that’s served at the level of government I’ve served at knows that you have to find ways to compromise.”

“I’m a conservative, but I’m first and foremost an American and I have a huge appetite to solve problems,” he said.