Senate Republicans are continuing to clash over ongoing talks for a deal to tighten border security and deliver aid to Ukraine, with some railing against the potential legislation and fuming that they haven’t seen more details about the closed-door discussions or the text being drafted.
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas slammed the bill being hammered out by negotiators as a “stinking pile of crap” and said that the plan is designed to fail. “The chances of this bill passing the House are 0.000%. It ain’t gonna pass,” he told reporters at a news conference held by several hard-right Republicans. “This bill represents Senate Republican leadership waging war on House Republican leadership. It’s not designed to secure the border, it won’t secure the border, and that’s why leadership wants it kept in secret.”
Other Republicans also complained about being kept in the dark and wondered openly what the party strategy is.
“I don’t know anything about what they’re doing,” Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy told reporters. “I mean, one of the gentlemen under the interstate living in a refrigerator box knows more about it than I do.”
Asked by CNN about Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s handling of the border and Ukraine talks, Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley called it “disastrous,” a “total shambles” and “embarrassing.”
McConnell has faced other direct attacks by his own members, but he has continued to voice support for a deal, arguing that it represents the best chance to make progress on the border and provide vital aid to Ukraine. “This is about cold, hard American interest,” he argued Wednesday. “We cannot pretend that American is inoculated against the consequences of a war in Europe.”
The bottom line: Republicans are divided and the situation is an utter mess, which could redound to President Joe Biden’s political benefit even as it leaves major policy issues unresolved. Even with all those potential implications, we’re going to quote Fox News here: “Unremitting cycle on Capitol Hill is tedious.”