Republicans officially TANK their own $118 BILLION border security bill: Conservative Senators tear into Mitch McConnell as GOP package unravels in just 72 hours after months of negotiations
The bipartisan $118 billion border security bill officially fell apart in the Senate on Wednesday after conservative Republicans destroyed the compromise package negotiated with the guidance of party leaders.
Republicans quickly rejected Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s vote to move the $118 border security bill forward 49 to 50 after days of GOP outrage. They said the bill did not go far enough to secure the border.
Schumer, D-N.Y., said the vote would “show who is serious about securing the border — and who isn’t.”
With that failure on the floor to get 60 votes to advance, attention immediately turned to a new effort to move aid to Ukraine and Israel without the border language — with scores of Republicans saying they would go along with the idea .
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) blasted the latest effort, even as he predicted it could get the 60 votes needed to advance.
‘I support the Ukraine bill, but I’m not going to give up on the border security provisions either,’ says Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who opposed the overall package that went down Wednesday.
He said negotiations were beginning on a process that would allow senators to offer amendments to amend it.
“I’m not giving up on securing the border,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said.
Republican Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana said: ‘The border bill is as dead as Woodrow Wilson.
Only four Republicans supported the deal during the vote. “Three weeks ago everyone wanted to solve the border crisis,” said sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) said. “Yesterday nobody did.”
“It’s just scary,” said Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) told DailyMail.com about the package’s defeat.
But he said he felt “really good” about the prospects of the deal, which could move without most border provisions.
He said the idea was to take out the national security package, but then put back language dealing with sanctions authorities for fentanyl trafficking and new fentanyl interdiction technology for the border.
“For a lot of us, the part of the border thing that we wanted to do the most was the fentanyl piece,” he said. “You put it in the national security package, it’s a powerful reason to vote yes for all of us,” he said.
It was just the latest show of chaos in Congress, after House leaders failed to muster enough votes to pass a separate $17 billion package to provide US aid to Israel on Tuesday.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) criticized Republicans for shying away from a border compromise that also included aid for Ukraine and Israel. He plans to call for a package stripped of the controversial border provisions if a procedural motion fails as expected
The deal’s destruction came despite Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Schumer both backing the proposal, which President Joe Biden also supported.
But former President Donald Trump pushed back against it, calling it a “death wish” for the Republican Party.
Now senators will get the chance to vote on a thinner $95 billion package stripped entirely of border language, under a maneuver by Schumer.
The idea was to drum up Republican support.
“Anybody who thinks there won’t be a consequence, a negative consequence in history about this vote, really needs to study history. That’s why I’m going to try to do my part not to be on that dark page of history,’ said sen. Thom Tillis (RN.C.) said and emphasized the importance of the Ukraine package.
‘I’d like the border bill on it. But if we can’t pass a border bill, we still have to do something with Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan,’ said Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) said.
Schumer’s gambit comes after President Joe Biden blasted congressional Republicans for lacking “backbone” after they helped kill a bipartisan compromise that would have included $20 billion in new border enforcement funds.
Democrats blame former President Donald Trump, who launched investigations against the deal, for pulling strings and destroying the chance of a compromise in an election year.
“When President Trump came along and said he didn’t want to solve the border problem, that he wanted it as a campaign issue, (House) Speaker Johnson obediently changed his tune, firing Schumer.
He has repeatedly linked the GOP’s opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, which is approaching its two-year anniversary.
“Last night, members from across the aisle met to decide whether to side with the American people or obey the wishes of former President Trump and his friend Vladimir Putin,” Schumer said.
“Tomorrow, the American people will find out whether Senators seek border security and oppose Russian expansionism, or whether they stand with former President Trump in support of chaos and Vladimir Putin,” he added in remarks on the Senate floor.
After the vote to take up the package is thought to have failed to get 60 votes, Schumer plans to scrap the border provisions, which Republicans have demanded in principle while balking at the details, and instead draft “emergency” supplemental appropriations to provide $60 billion to Ukraine, strengthen support for Israel, and provide additional funds for Taiwan along with reconstruction aid for Gaza.
The US had to cut military aid to Ukraine after its budget authority dried up. The two-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion is approaching
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said he would support a move to a clean bill. He was hammered by conservative MAGA-affiliated members of his conference for helping to draft the border compromise
That would give him the chance to present Republicans with a second procedural motion – this time without the border language intended to win over Republicans. One provision allows the administration to close the border when daily border crossings hit 5,000.
Schumer told members of his caucus and the White House last week that if Republicans scuttle the bipartisan border and supplemental deal, he prepared a plan to use the motion to reconsider to force Republicans to vote on the borderless supplemental (reforms),” a Senate Democratic aide said the cup.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would support a ‘clean’ package on Ukraine aid. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who was among those who killed the border package, said he would too.
Such a package is likely to be doomed in the Republican House, which on Tuesday failed to pass Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas and failed to pass a package that considered only aid to Israel.
The Senate votes come after Senate conservatives slammed the compromise, with some even calling for a leadership change because of McConnell’s role in helping to push it.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who opposed McConnell when he was re-elected to his post in 2022, said Tuesday it was time for him to go. “I think a Republican leader should actually lead this conference and should advance the priorities of Republicans,” he said.
McConnell has been a frequent target of Trump. The two men have not spoken since Jan. 6, even as Trump moves ever closer to securing his party’s nomination.