Ten Establishment Senators Help Mike Lee’s Title 42 Amendment Fail, Enabling Omnibus Advancement

FILE - Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., speaks during a Senate Homeland Security and Governme
AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File

Ten establishment senators on Thursday helped Sen. Mike Lee’s (R-UT) Title 42 amendment fail, enabling the $1.7 trillion omnibus bill advance in the Senate, while providing political cover for 2024 endangered Democrat senators.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) worked with Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) and Jon Tester (D-MT) Thursday morning to circumvent Lee’s amendment by crafting a side-by-side amendment to provide political cover for ten senators to ignore Lee’s Title 42 amendment, which was throwing a wrench into the passage of the omnibus bill.

Lee’s Title 42 amendment tied funds for the Department of Homeland Security to the Biden administration maintaining Title 42 in place. The Biden administration is currently in a legal fight to end Title 42, which makes it easier for law enforcement to send illegal aliens back to their native countries. The Trump administration originally implemented the measure during the pandemic.

Ten senators used Sinema and Tester’s amendment as political cover to avoid a tough vote on curbing Title 42. As a result, Lee’s Title 42 amendment failed 47-50. A simple majority was needed to pass the measure. The Sinema/Tester amendment also failed, but not before it consumed enough votes to tank Lee’s.

The senators who backed the alternative amendment for political cover to Lee’s amendment are notable. They include some senators who are up for 2024 reelection, such as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Tester, and Sinema:

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.


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