(CNN) – Sen. Rand Paul says he’ll vote “no” on the Senate’s bipartisan immigration reform bill, since it doesn’t include his amendment that would grant Congress power to determine whether the U.S. southern border is secure,
The Kentucky Republican had previously been open to supporting the measure, which includes a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants that’s contingent on bolstering border security. Paul introduced an amendment that would have required Congress to vote on whether the border was properly secure, but it failed to gain approval this week.
Without that inclusion, Paul said definitively on CNN’s “State of the Union” he would be a “no” vote.
“Without some congressional authority and without border security first, I can't support the final bill,” Paul told chief political correspondent Candy Crowley.
Supporters of the comprehensive immigration reform bill need 60 votes to gain passage in the Senate, but hope a larger majority will help propel the measure in the GOP-controlled House of Representatives, where its prospects appear dim. With that goal in mind, an amendment was introduced this week that vastly ramps up resources along the southern border, including 700 miles of new fence.
But Paul said Sunday that provision wasn’t sufficient, saying throwing dollars at border security programs wasn’t any guarantee the problem would be fixed.
“We've thrown a lot of money at a lot of problems in our country,” Paul said. “To me, what really tells me that they're serious would be letting Congress vote on whether the border's secure. If the people in the country want to be assured that we will not get another 10 million people to come here illegally over the next decade, they have to believe they get a vote through their Congress.”
Predicting the measure would pass the Senate but fail in the House, Paul said he didn’t trust the White House to accurately assess whether or not full security had been achieved on the border.
“I don't trust this administration or a Republican administration to really make a valid judgment,” he said. “I want Congress and the people to have the right to decide whether the border's secure.”