Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell calls for retreat on Democrat-led 'bipartisan' border bill

McConnell's call to action came during a private meeting with GOP senators, where he recommended blocking the bill due to widespread Republican opposition.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell calls for retreat on Democrat-led 'bipartisan' border bill
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is reportedly encouraging Republican senators to vote against a comprehensive border bill introduced in the Democrat-majority Senate this Monday.

Critics, particularly from the House, argue that the $118 billion proposal is designed to bolster President Joe Biden's re-election prospects in a potential rematch with Donald Trump in 2024. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis criticized the bill for effectively "legalizing illegal immigration," reflecting a broad sentiment of opposition among Republican lawmakers, the Daily Wire reported.

McConnell's call to action came during a private meeting with GOP senators, where he recommended blocking the bill due to widespread Republican opposition. The opposition is rooted not only in the bill's content but also in a shift in the political climate that demands more rigorous scrutiny of immigration policies. McConnell's stance was confirmed by several sources, indicating a collective GOP strategy to prevent the bill's progression.

“McConnell recommended to GOP senators behind closed doors that they BLOCK the border bill on Wednesday, per multiple sources, bc it’s clear that most Republicans are preparing to vote no — either because they oppose the bill or want more time,” journalist Andrew Desiderio wrote on X.

“McConnell explicitly recommended a NO vote on cloture on the motion to proceed, according to several attendees,” he added. “McConnell said the problem isn’t what Lankford negotiated, it’s that the political mood in the country has changed.”

Top House Republicans, including House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN), and Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY), declared the bill dead on arrival in the lower chamber.

They criticized it for failing to secure the border adequately and for incentivizing further illegal immigration. The leaders' joint statement highlighted specific concerns, including the bill's expansion of work authorizations for illegal aliens without addressing essential asylum reforms and its endorsement of the Biden administration's "catch and release" policy.

Moreover, the GOP leaders pointed out significant loopholes in the bill's provisions, granting excessive discretionary power to Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who, in their view, has consistently sought to keep the border open against legal stipulations. They also criticized the misuse of taxpayer funds under the FEMA Shelter and Services Program to accommodate illegal immigrants in hotels.

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