Why Trump is So Afraid of the Bipartisan Border Deal
Republicans killed their bill in record time to prevent Biden from getting a "win"
After months of negotiations, a bipartisan group of senators finally released a bill that would address border security as well as provide U.S. aid for Ukraine and Israel. For those of you who have understandably checked out of the ups and downs of a poorly governed Republican Congress(or allowed your Punchbowl News subscription to lapse), House Republicans said they would not approve any aid for Ukraine until border security was addressed. Linking these two issues is an absurd form of hostage-taking that could help put Russian forces on the border of a NATO country. Nonetheless, Senate Democrats and Republicans who believe in stricter border control and in supplying more aid to Ukraine have accepted the premise of the House GOP’s demands.
The bill they released on Sunday is far from perfect. Democrats don’t like most of it, meaning that Senators Sanders and Padilla, as well as a number of House Democrats won’t vote for it. Getting something done in a divided government means swallowing stuff you don’t like, which is why President Biden, Senator Schumer, and other Democrats are willing to move forward.
Even before the text of the Senate deal was released, Donald Trump and his allies were trying to kill the bill by spreading lies about what it would include. Speaker Mike Johnson went on Meet the Press to restate his opposition to the deal (which he had never seen) and declare it dead on arrival in the House.
Once the deal was released, Republicans did everything they could to prevent it from passing the Senate. Trump took to Truth Social to spread lies about the bill:
Only a fool, or a Radical Left Democrat, would vote for this horrendous Border Bill, which only gives Shutdown Authority after 5000 Encounters a day, when we already have the right to CLOSE THE BORDER NOW, which must be done. This Bill is a great gift to the Democrats, and a Death Wish for The Republican Party. It takes the HORRIBLE JOB the Democrats have done on Immigration and the Border, absolves them, and puts it all squarely on the shoulders of Republicans. Don’t be STUPID!!! We need a separate Border and Immigration Bill. It should not be tied to foreign aid in any way, shape, or form! The Democrats broke Immigration and the Border. They should fix it. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!!
And then the House Republican leadership took the very unusual step of telling Senate Republicans not to bother passing the bill. A joint statement from the top three House Republicans said:
Any consideration of this Senate bill in its current form is a waste of time. It is DEAD on arrival in the House. We encourage the U.S. Senate to reject it.
Please note that the use of all caps for “DEAD” was their decision, not mine. Before the day was out, McConnell had caved to Trump and urged his caucus to vote no on the deal he helped spearhead. Even Jim Lankford, the Oklahoma Republican who negotiated the bill, refused to say how he would vote.
These are not the actions of a confident party who thinks they are on the right side of a winning issue. The tone, tempo, and body language of Republicans from Trump on down suggest that they are very afraid of the politics of the border deal.