The bipartisan border deal that is dividing Republicans in Congress is already prompting angry calls to shake up Senate leadership and angry claims from Donald Trump that it is a “death wish” for the party in 2024.
The anger came in the hours since negotiators announced details of their new bipartisan deal that would give the government new powers to “close” the border if crossings surge while also allocating billions to support allies Ukraine and Israel send.
Among those who most despised the deal was Utah Senator Mike Lee, who even appeared to call for a change in his party's leadership after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell helped negotiate the deal with the Majority Leader, Senator Charles Schumer, to oversee. McConnell, the longest-serving Republican leader in Senate history, survived a November 2022 leadership challenge by a 37-10 vote.
“This feels like an elaborate joke.” But it's not funny. Not a little. I can't understand how any Republican could think this is a good idea – or anything other than an absolute disaster. “We need new leadership – NOW,” he wrote on X.
“Senate leadership screwed this up — and screwed us,” he wrote in another post. Even though they refused for MONTHS to show us the bill they were supposedly negotiating on our behalf, they never had any doubts and insisted that we would be stupid and even unpatriotic if we did NOT support it. This is a disqualifying betrayal.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) helped negotiate a bipartisan immigration package that also includes U.S. support for Ukraine and Israel
Former President Donald Trump, who had already publicly tried to block the deal, criticized it after negotiators revealed the details.
Trump called it a “ridiculous” border law and said it was “nothing more than a sophisticated trap for Republicans to take the blame for what the radical left-wing Democrats have done to our border, just in time for our most important election ever.” “Don't fall for this!!!'
Trump approved a provision allowing the government to close the border if the number of daily crossings reaches 5,000.
“Only a fool or a radical left-wing Democrat would vote for this terrible border bill that only grants closure authority after 5,000 encounters per day, even though we already have the right to close the border NOW, which is what needs to be done.” “This bill is a great gift to the Democrats and a death wish for the Republican Party,” Trump said.
Utah Senator Mike Lee used the bipartisan immigration bill to call for “new leadership.”
Lee called the deal “even worse than we thought”
Sen. Mike Lee is just one of the conservative Senate Republicans who pushed through the compromise in the hours after it was released
Former President Donald Trump railed against the deal online
That attack came amid criticism that House Speaker Mike Johnson and his allies scuttled the deal at Trump's behest to prevent a political victory for President Joe Biden.
Among those making those arguments was Majority Leader Charles Schumer, 73, who worked closely with McConnell, 81, on the deal as both leaders seek to advance funding for Ukraine and Israel.
“It took a long time – four months of arduous negotiations.” They went off the rails many times. “I even had to make a phone call at midnight,” said Schumer, who had already predicted success after a meeting at the White House last month.
“The majority of Republican senators know it's the right thing to do.” I'm not a compromiser. I don't like everything about it – neither does McConnell. It's a compromise. “That's the only way to get important things done in the Senate,” he said, urging senators to “drown out the political noise of Trump and his minions and do what's right for America…History looks down on each of us.” '
In a sign of the volatility of the issues, Texas Sen. John Cornyn, a longtime Schumer ally and former party leader, announced his own opposition Monday afternoon.
Sens. Katie Britt (R-Ala.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) also pursued it.
The number of Republicans opposing the deal approached 20 as of Monday afternoon, nearly half of the 41 needed to kill the deal.
“The crisis has literally never been worse,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Monday, calling for action. He said the “gaping hole” in the country’s borders “will not heal itself.”
“This is a humanitarian and security crisis of historic proportions. “And Senate Republicans have insisted not just for months, but for years, that this urgent crisis requires action,” he said.