Ricketts explains opposition to U.S. Senate border security bill

Feb. 7, 2024, 6 p.m. ·

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U.S. Sen. Pete Ricketts explained his opposition to a border security and foreign aid bill during a press call Wednesday. (Screenshot from Office of Sen. Pete Ricketts)

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Nebraska Senators Pete Ricketts and Deb Fischer were among U.S. Senate Republicans who blocked a border security and foreign aid bill through a failed procedural vote earlier this week.

The pair joined 48 other senators in opposition to a bill that had the support of Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and most Senate Democrats.

Ricketts explained his opposition in a press call Wednesday.

"I cannot support this bill," he said. "This bill does not stop President Biden or any other president from abusing the law and granting mass parole to illegal aliens."

The National Border Patrol Council, a union of front-line border patrol agents that previously endorsed Donald Trump has come out in support of the bill.

Ricketts said the union sent a letter to Sen. Lindsey Graham Wednesday with ideas that could make the bill better including a cap on parole and a decrease in the border patrol encounter threshold necessary to declare a border emergency.

Ricketts said the need for improvement is why he is against the current bill, despite the National Border Patrol Council's support.

"The national border council is saying yes, this bill can be improved," Ricketts said. "So I think what we need to do is vote this bill down and continue to negotiate and see if we can get a better bill."

Ricketts said previous negotiations have gone on behind closed doors and he hopes to see a better bill develop now that the debate has become public.