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House Democrats launch new border security task force

More than two dozen House Democrats established a new border security task force on Tuesday, as members double down on border policy amid the 2024 election.

The task force, co-chaired by Reps. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) and Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.), is dedicated to “countering the surge of illicit narcotics threatening communities across the country and addressing the influx of irregular migration at the southern border,” Cuellar’s office said in a statement.

Moderate Democrats have increased pressure on President Biden in recent weeks to make a deal with Republicans on border security measures. House Republicans previously threw out a bipartisan border security bill passed in the Senate last month.

“Cities across the country are now feeling the consequences of the humanitarian crisis at the border — something border communities have been dealing with for years,” Cuellar said in a statement. “This crisis is unsustainable, and Democrats need a forum to approach border security policy as the GOP continues to play partisan politics with the issue.”

Republicans have demanded major changes in border security policy, which most Democrats have refused. Republicans claim Democrats’ offered reforms are not far enough. The debate has brought legislation in the House to a standstill, including government funding measures.

The border is consistently one of the most important issues to voters in 2024, according to public opinion polls. Suozzi won a Long Island special election last month with a campaign that emphasized border issues, urging reform but falling short of fully criticizing the president.

Cuellar, one of the most moderate members in the House Democratic Caucus, has been among the loudest Democratic critics of the president’s border policies. On Tuesday, he and 13 other Democrats voted for a GOP-led measure criticizing Biden over the border and urging him to use expanded executive authority to rein in immigration.

The task force will act as a forum for Democrats to discuss and participate in border security issues, Cuellar’s office said, and hold meetings with the Biden administration and stakeholders to develop policy.

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