Thomas F Campenni
3 min readFeb 12, 2024

The complete breakdown of the bipartisan bill to gain control of the border shows that the Republican Party is anything but sincere in finding solutions to problems the United States faces.

Donald J. Trump snaps his fingers, and senators and congresspeople abandon principle to do his bidding. They have sacrificed border security to politics by not voting for a bill they wanted and demanded their Democratic colleagues should pass. It was a bill whose chief Republican negotiator is a conservative hawk on border security.

Now after being ordered by Trump to stand down, the Republican talking point about the president already having the authority to close the border through executive action is just that…talk. Every time Trump tried to do so, the courts ruled he did not have the authority. It was the presence of Covid that allowed his administration to declare a health emergency. Those who state the border can be shut down today by using Title 42 are wrong. We are not currently facing an epidemic, such as Covid, that would allow for it.

And sending the migrants back to Mexico only works if they are Mexican or the Mexican authorities agree to accept other nations’ citizens. The Mexicans do not want Central Americans, Venezuelans, Chinese, or Ukrainians. Let’s call the trashing of the bipartisan border security bill what it is…obedience to the will of Trump over the crisis that Republicans want to tar the Democrats with.

Congress makes laws and appropriates money. The laws needed to secure our borders and hire border patrol agents, judges to hear asylum claims, and to have facilities to house the migrants while they wait to have their claims heard all come from Congress. But Congress has for decades decided to complain about problems instead of solving them. Congress has devolved into being Uncle Max kibitzing at the Thanksgiving gathering.

An organization I support, Pacific Legal Foundation, believes that the executive branch exceeds its authority under the Constitution. When a regulatory agency makes the rules, then judges the people for breaking them, and levies the fine, there is a breakdown in the constitutional order. This has happened in every facet of government but never more so than in immigration and the border.

The bi-partisan bill was not even an immigration bill. It was to give the president, whoever is in office, the authority to control the border by providing the resources to do so. For Trump and congressional Republicans to throw that away so that they can make it a campaign issue is abhorrent and the antithesis to how we are meant to function.

This will not move the needle for the 46% of voters who will cast ballots for Trump no matter what. At the same time, there are about an equal percentage of voters who would vote for Democrats unquestionably. But for the voters in the middle, the Republican dysfunction in governance is the balance toward the Democrats. The cynicism and chaos that Trumpism operates under is making voters who are sympathetic to conservative ideas turn to Democrats for the stability they offer.

I voted for the Republican presidential nominee in every election from Nixon to Romney. The nomination of Trump broke that streak. I now see that even a Republican Congress is incapable of salvation.




Thomas F Campenni

Currently lives in Stuart Florida and former City Commissioner. His career has been as a commercial real estate owner, broker and manager in New York City.