Senate Border Deal Collapses

'We have no real chance here to make a law,' McConnell says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2024 4:59 PM CST
Senate Border Deal Collapses
President Biden delivers remarks on the Emergency National Security Supplemental Appropriations Act in the State Dining Room of the White House, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

It took months of bipartisan negotiations to craft it, but the Senate border deal didn't survive long enough for House Speaker Mike Johnson to make good on his promise to declare it "dead on arrival in the House." The deal suffered what the AP calls a "swift and total collapse" Tuesday as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged that it had no chance of passing. "We have no real chance here to make a law," the Republican said after a Senate GOP luncheon, per Politico. He said there had been a "very robust discussion about whether or not this product could ever become law."

The bill also included aid for Israel and Ukraine, which Johnson said would be addressed separately. McConnell's remarks came just minutes after President Biden urged Republicans to "show some spine and do what they know to be right," while admitting that the bill was probably doomed. He accused Donald Trump of torpedoing the bill for political gain, the New York Times. "For the last 24 hours he's done nothing, I'm told, but reach out to Republicans in the House and the Senate and threaten them and try to intimidate them to vote against this proposal," Biden said. "It looks like they're caving." Trump, he said, would "rather weaponize this issue than actually solve it."

Sen. Chris Murphy, the lead Democratic negotiator, said the way Republicans treated the efforts of GOP negotiator Sen. James Lankford was "disgusting" and showed that they were not "serious people." "How can you trust any Republican right now? How would we know what to do next?" he said, per Politico. "They told us what to do. We follow their instructions to the letter, and then they pulled the rug out from under us in 24 hours." Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who had offered to delay a vote on advancing the bill, said McConnell and the GOP conference were "ready to kill the national security supplemental package even with border provisions they so fervently demanded." (One major point of contention involved the number 5,000.)

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