The GOP is using the issue in an effort to hobble the Arizona Democratic senator’s reelection campaign next year.

Sen. Mark Kelly sounded a rare note of criticism after President Joe Biden’s Wednesday night address to Congress. | Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images


04/29/2021 05:26 PM EDT

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Mark Kelly is a reliable ally of President Joe Biden. Except when it comes to the border.

The Arizona Democratic senator sounded a rare note of criticism after Biden’s Wednesday night address to Congress, asking the president for more federal resources at the border and calling the influx of migrants coming into his state a “crisis” — language that Biden’s White House is resisting. In his characteristically low-key way, Kelly didn’t back down Thursday from his knock on Biden for omitting a detailed plan for the border and his vow to “continue holding this administration accountable.”

Though Kelly’s home state shifted toward Democrats during the presidency of Donald Trump, the GOP is using Biden’s handling of the border in an effort to hobble the former astronaut’s reelection campaign next year. Gearing up to try to take back a Senate seat in Kelly’s once reliably red state, Republicans are already criticizing him for not being a more aggressive check on Biden. But the Arizonan says that’s exactly what he’s doing.

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