It doesn’t have the votes to pass the GOP-controlled House or the Democrat-run Senate, but that’s not stopping Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) from bringing a border security bill to the floor this week.

The goal isn’t a solution to border chaos or even to pass legislation. The point is to help protect vulnerable Senate Democrats like Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.)

The legislation, known as “The Border Act,” already failed to get the 60 votes needed to advance in the Senate in a vote last February.  The vote was 49-50, and there’s no sign the numbers have shifted significantly. While Republicans overwhelmingly opposed the legislation, Democrats like Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) were “no” votes as well. (Schumer voted ‘no’ for procedural reasons).

So, why is Schumer bringing it back?

“We’re tired of being on defense about [the border]. Frankly, our argument is better. The Republicans unanimously tanked tough border policy because their boss told them to,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) told Punchbowl News. 

And Democrats are particularly on defense in states where former President Donald Trump is competitive in November’s election, like Ohio, Montana, and Pennsylvania.

“It’s certainly a boost for Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio),” Punchbowl reports. “The ads practically write themselves: ‘Senator X voted for the strictest border crackdown in a generation.'”

Also on that list, according to multiple reports, is Bob Casey.

In Pennsylvania, GOP challenger Dave McCormick is making the chaos at the border a key part of his campaign. When Schumer announced he was bringing the bill back to the Senate floor this week for another vote, McCormick was returning from a weekend touring the Arizona-Mexico border.

“Absolute madness in terms of the national security risk associated with this,” said McCormick said in a video shot at the southern border and posted on social media. “I’m deeply worried that the many, hundreds perhaps thousands of people, that are loose in our country now pose a real national security risk. It’s due to the wide open border here.”

Polls show immigration and border security are a top priority of voters, including in Pennsylvania.

Jessica M. Vaughan, Policy Studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies, told DVJournal that McCormick’s embrace of the border issue is “a very good strategy.”

“Not only because it’s the right policy and the right issue, but because voters in Pennsylvania, and everywhere, are fed up with the Biden policies and want the situation corrected,” Vaughan said.

Even groups who oppose a border wall say McCormick’s strategy is smart.

“It’s a highly visible example of a chaotic government failure, and it is easy to attempt to tie it to many different domestic problems,” said David J. Bier, Immigration Studies director at the libertarian Cato Institute.

Pennsylvania voters agree.

A Commonwealth Foundation poll from April found 13 percent viewed Immigration-Border Security as the most important problem for the nation, second only to inflation. Previous polls consistently ranked the border in the top three issues that concerned voters.

And the news isn’t improving on President Joe Biden’s watch.

Customs and Border Patrol data released earlier this month showed more than 1.7 million illegal immigrant “gotaways” across the southern border — spotted, but not apprehended — since Biden took office. That’s more than in the entire decade from 2010 to 2020, the CBP reports.

McCormick frequently makes the connection between the uncontrolled border crossings and the surge in opioid deaths in the U.S.

“Fentanyl is pouring across our southern border and ravaging communities, killing over 4,000 Pennsylvanians a year — and Bob Casey has been a rubber stamp for the horrendous border policies that enabled this crisis,” McCormick said in a statement.

McCormick has argued the U.S. needs to finish the border wall near Yuma that former president Donald Trump ordered to be built in 2017.

That plan was ended by Democrat Biden shortly after he took office in 2021.

Coupled with McCormick’s border visit is a new digital ad using Casey’s own words on border security against him.

In the ad, candidate Casey said Washington politicians have “a lot of explaining to do” if they go around boasting about being tough on the border but, in reality, did nothing.

McCormick’s campaign said that may describe Casey.

“One look at Casey’s 18-year record proves that was a lie,” said Elizabeth Gregory, a McCormick campaign spokesperson.

A call to Casey’s campaign was not returned.

The campaign cited Casey’s votes against bills that blocked federal funding for so-called sanctuary cities and required states and cities to cooperate with federal authorities on terrorists and violent criminals who are in the U.S. illegally.

“Casey is at the scene of the crime for this terrible crisis we have here at the Southern border,” said McCormick.

As for the Senate’s latest immigration bill, it may not make it out of the upper chamber of Congress. Schumer admitted that some of the provisions will not appease his caucus.

House Republicans Schumer is just using the upcoming vote as a form of “political cover” for Democrats in tough races.

Asked about that allegation, Bier quipped, “Isn’t everything?”