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Some Republican senators were overheard engaging in loud conversations behind closed doors as they debated legislation that would provide some funding for the border but much more in aid to countries like Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.
Fox News Capitol Hill reporter Aishah Hasnie told the network program “America’s Newsroom” Tuesday morning that even one of the bill’s co-sponsors, Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, is now likely to vote against it because of its highly controversial provisions such as continuing to allow thousands of illegal migrants into the country daily before President Joe Biden would be compelled to shut the border down.
Here’s what Hasnie told Fox News:
While the past 24 hours have been nothing short of stunning here, we knew that this border deal was dead on arrival in the House, but it’s not likely to make it out of the Senate at all. Republicans are poised to take a procedural vote on this tomorrow, and it’s likely at the author of this big bipartisan deal. The Republican author is likely to vote no on it as well, as well as a Senate majority leader or minority leader.
Senate Republicans met last night at a closed-door meeting, which got so heated, Dana, at times, that myself and other reporters could actually hear screaming coming from inside the room. When leader Mitch McConnell emerged from the room, he told me that he had a great discussion and that the conference will keep on talking.
Now, Senator James Lankford, the lead GOP negotiator on this, told me it is clear that the majority of the conference is not ready to vote on this thing, but that there is still interest in adding real amendments and shaping into something, perhaps, that they can stomach. He insists, though, the bill is not dead, but it looks like he may also vote no tomorrow, just for the sake of party unity. Democrats are already lashing out on that lead,
Democrat negotiator Chris Murphy tweeting this honestly, this is so embarrassing. You told us you wanted a bipartisan border fix. You appointed the Republican negotiator. We got a deal. Stop the drama. Now, there were three senators on the left that had also rejected the bill. But the goal really here, Dana, was to get half of each conference on board. That is not going to happen. Leader Schumer is expected to go on and put this on the floor for a cloture vote tomorrow. Again, that’s expected to fail. As all eyes now shift to the House, where we are watching this impeachment in a few hours.
Previously, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) had declared the legislation “dead on arrival” in the House because of the provisions that still allowed as many as 1.8 million people into the country illegally.
Critics from both sides of the aisle have expressed concerns about the Biden Administration’s handling of the border. They point to the record number of encounters with migrants since 2021 as evidence of mismanagement. In December 2023, there were more than 300,000 encounters with migrants at the southern border, setting a new single-month record.
Leaked details of the potential border deal suggest that it could allow up to 8,500 migrants to enter the U.S. at the border in a 24-hour period or an average of 5,000 per day before triggering a border closure.
House GOP leaders have firmly stated that they consider the agreement to be “dead on arrival” in the Republican-led House. Johnson and conservative members of the House have maintained that President Biden already possesses the necessary authority to address many of the issues at the border through executive orders.
“I applaud my Republican colleagues led by Rep. Ashley Hinson for telling President Biden directly: you have the existing authority to end the border catastrophe. It was the Biden administration’s disastrous policies — including 64 executive actions — that opened the border,” Johnson said in a statement posted on X. “House GOP is united in taking the fight to the President and make him secure the border.”