Pro-migration Republican senators are trying to revive the border giveaway plan amid GOP splits, establishment finger-pointing, and growing public opposition.
The establishment backlash on Thursday morning came after the Wednesday admission by Republican Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell that GOP voters and swing voters are increasingly alarmed by President Joe Biden’s ruthless pro-migration economic policy.
RELATED VIDEO — Biden Co-Chair Coons: Dems Have Shifted on Border Because It’s Gotten So Bad over Past Year or Two:
“Anger and confusion on Hill as Trump appears to have blown up delicate compromise on immigration — and with it, aid to Ukraine and Israel,” said a tweet from Manu Raju, CNN’s reporter on Capitol Hill.
“Reading the confusion coming from the leader from the border bill puts a lot of question marks in my mind about where we’re going from here,” said Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), who later insisted to CNN that everything is back on track:
The ambiguity that was around for the last few hours has been clarified for all of us. [McConnell] is fully behind the border bill, fully behind the support for Ukraine, and is not going to let political considerations of any campaign stand in the way of his support … Leader McConnell removed any question about his support. He said he is fully supportive of the border bill as he indicated for the last several weeks.
Democrats bitterly blamed Donald Trump for the breakdown. “We don’t live in a world today in which one person inside the Republican Party holds so much power that they could stop a bipartisan bill,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), the Democrats’ chief negotiator. “I’m just gonna keep my head down — I’m working with [Republican] partners who want to deal,” he added.
The Thursday breakdown followed reports from Wednesday evening. “MCCONNELL told a closed meeting of Senate Republicans Wed[nesday afternoon] that the politics of the border has flipped for R[epublicans]s and cast doubt on linking Ukraine and border,” Punchbowl News reported early Wednesday evening. The report added:
McConnell referred to [Donald] Trump as “the nominee” and noted the former president wants to run his 2024 campaign centered on immigration. And the GOP leader said, “We don’t want to do anything to undermine him.”
McConnell’s comments were ambiguous but important, said Chris Chmielenski, president of the Immigration Accountability Project.
McConnell’s deputy has already said that McConnell will only back the bill if it is approved by more than half of the 49-member caucus, meaning, by a large bloc of the roughly 20 Senators who do not care much about the issue, said Chmielenski.
So McConnell’s ambiguity gives that Republican bloc tacit permission to spotlight the hostile polls when they oppose the giveaway, he said:
That’s the dynamics that changed yesterday. Prior to yesterday afternoon’s meeting, he was whipping hard in favor of the bill that doesn’t exist. Now he’s saying, “Do whatever you’d like.”
This zig-zag policy is rational for McConnell, said Chmielenski:
It allows him to say privately to his donors, “Listen, I want open borders, I want to expand legal immigration, illegal immigration, all of the above, let’s bring in more.” But at the same time, he can go to the Republican base [via media outlets], and say, “Yeah, listen — I didn’t say that I’m in favor of this” without saying [publicly] that he’s opposed to it.
“It’s hard to say what leadership is thinking.” said Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH).“There’s a chance that [McConnell is] signaling to Democrats that they have to budge a whole lot more than they have so far … [and] there’s a chance that he sees the political writing on the wall, that the package just doesn’t have a great future.”
RELATED VIDEO — McConnell Sides with Biden on Bundling Ukraine, Israel Aid: “I View it as All Interconnected”:
But a careful read shows how McConnell’s top deputies on Thursday morning were also being evasive and ambiguous as they tried to zig-zag between vital donors and irreplaceable voters.
“I think, for now at least, there’s still an attempt being made to try and reach a conclusion that would satisfy a lot of Republicans,” Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) told reporters on Thursday. “We’re at a critical moment and we’ve got to drive hard to get this done [and] if we can’t get there, then we’ll go to plan B.”
“What he was talking about was what he saw as sort of the political challenges of moving forward,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). “He wasn’t waving a white flag on border security at all.”
Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), who serves as McConnell’s chief negotiator, also took an ambiguous line in interviews. “He’s not making any recommendation, he’s not backing away from this,” Lankford said.
“I think he was laying out the politics — I definitely didn’t get that he was backing away at all.”
LANKFORD on @LeaderMcConnell re: border
“I think he was laying out the politics. I definitely didn’t get that he was backing away at all.” pic.twitter.com/YmqMMwpVP1
— Alan He (@alanhe) January 25, 2024
The angriest pushback came from the GOP’s strongest supporters of the more-migration bill.
Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) declared he is “personally fully engaged in both the border and getting [funding for] Ukraine and Israel together.”
“That’s like parallel universe shit,” responded Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) when he was asked about Republican opposition to the deal. Tillis is one of the strongest advocates for the deal, partly because it would allow the federal government to import an extra 700,000 no-rights, low-wage workers and renters via the “parole” loophole in the border.
In reality, leaked reports suggest that the border deal will accelerate the government-managed flow of illegal migrants into Americans’ workplaces. The deal will also boost funding for government programs that move migrants from South America into U.S. cities and also spend more taxpayer dollars to house, feed, train, and hide migrants throughout the 2024 election.
The leaked descriptions of the bill do not include any significant curbs on illegal or illegal migration. Instead, the bill would allow many more migrants to be imported for low-wage jobs that would otherwise go to Americans for decent wages.
The bill also includes new incentives for foreign college graduates to take jobs for low wages at Fortune 500 companies. Those imported graduates push many young American graduates off the first rung of a career ladder.
Mitt Romney: “I think the border is a very important issue for Donald Trump. And the fact that he would communicate to Republican senators and congresspeople that he doesn’t want us to solve the border problem because he wants to blame Biden for it is is really appalling.” pic.twitter.com/L1LJex10JY
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 25, 2024
Many advocates for more migration blamed Donald Trump, not migration’s damaging impact on American citizens.
“Anything that interrupts that negotiation I think would be tragic. … I hope no one is trying to take this away for campaign purposes,” said Sen. Todd Young (R-IN).
“This is down to a political decision for Republicans as to whether they want to solve this problem or whether they want to keep it available for Trump to use it as a wedge,” Democrat Murphy said.
“The American people are suffering as a result of what’s happening at the border,” Romney told reporters. “Someone running for president not to try and get the problem solved. as opposed to saying, hey, save that problem. Don’t solve it. Let me take credit for solving it later.”
Lobbyists are looking for alternative ways to preserve their government-imported supply of workers, renters, and consumers.
“This moment was inevitable,” tweeted Andrea Flores, a top lobbyist for investors at FWD.us who profit from more migration:
Even when Trump’s own policies were part of this deal, it wasn’t enough. It’s time for Democrats to identify their own solutions at the border and help Biden focus on developing a federal response to the migrant crisis in cities.
Democrats need to stop letting Trump determine the policy solutions in this moment, because once again – eliminating parole and bringing back Title 42- will make the border worse. Dems have better solutions than the ones comprising this deal, they just have to start selling them
Biden’s borders policies are now the top issue in U.S. politics, according to a January 17-18 poll for Harvard University. The poll reported that 57 percent of the voters said, “I miss Donald Trump’s policies on the economy, immigration, and crime.”
MUST SEE CLIP. In 2007 Biden was asked if he would allow sanctuary cities to exist. His answer was NO. He said that sanctuary cities turn into dumps and the only reason they exist is because the Federal government doesn’t enforce the law.
2020 Biden – Illegals make cities safer… pic.twitter.com/5GiS7WtS8I
— MAZE (@mazemoore) January 25, 2024