The bipartisan Senate border deal is blowing up already.
Released Sunday night after months of closed-door negotiations by top senators in both parties, the bill was greeted by an eruption of protest from conservatives in both the House and Senate.
And House Majority Leader Steve Scalise quickly delivered the death blow.
“Let me be clear, The Senate Border Bill will NOT receive a vote in the House,” Scalise wrote on X.
The Louisiana Republican highlighted a provision of the 370-page bill that activates an automatic expulsion of illegal immigrants if the number of recorded border crossings reaches 5,000 a day for a week.
Those crossing would then be ineligible to apply for asylum.
Scalise called that a “magnet for more illegal immigration,” considering the other 4,999 border jumpers who are involved.
“Here’s what the people pushing this ‘deal’ aren’t telling you: It accepts 5,000 illegal immigrants a day and gives automatic work permits to asylum recipients — a magnet for more illegal immigration,” he wrote.
Let me be clear: The Senate Border Bill will NOT receive a vote in the House.
Here’s what the people pushing this “deal” aren’t telling you: It accepts 5,000 illegal immigrants a day and gives automatic work permits to asylum recipients—a magnet for more illegal immigration.
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) February 5, 2024
And Scalise had plenty of company among conservative critics of the bill — most importantly, House Speaker Mike Johnson, a fellow Louisiana Republican and outspoken critic of President Joe Biden.
“If this bill reaches the House, it will be dead on arrival,” Johnson wrote in an X post.
The speaker cited a line in a social media thread published by Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, who declared that, under the bill, “the border never closes.”
I’ve seen enough. This bill is even worse than we expected, and won’t come close to ending the border catastrophe the President has created. As the lead Democrat negotiator proclaimed: Under this legislation, “the border never closes.”
If this bill reaches the House, it will be…
— Speaker Mike Johnson (@SpeakerJohnson) February 5, 2024
“I’ve seen enough,” Johnson wrote. “This bill is even worse than we expected, and won’t come close to ending the border catastrophe the President has created. As the lead Democrat negotiator proclaimed: Under this legislation, ‘the border never closes.'”
For example, here’s Murphy’s fourth point: The bill includes a “brand new right to legal representation for all immigrants. Remember when Trump denied lawyers to victims of the Muslim ban? Never again.”
4/ A brand new right to legal representation for all immigrants. Remember when Trump denied lawyers to victims of the Muslim ban? Never again.
And…the first ever government paid-for lawyers for young unaccompanied minors. A long standing injustice righted.
— Chris Murphy ? (@ChrisMurphyCT) February 4, 2024
In fact, pretty much all any conservative needs to do is read Murphy’s entire list to decide it’s a disaster for the country. (Much like Murphy himself, and the rest of his political party, come to think of it.)
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — probably knowing the bill is already doomed — put out a statement trying to give it the best possible spin.
The statement blamed Biden for the border disaster and thanked Oklahoma Republican James Lankford for his work negotiating with Democrats (McConnell apparently is happier about that than Lankford’s home-state Republicans) — but then issued what amounted to a pretty weak-kneed plea for the bill’s passage.
“America’s sovereignty is being tested here at home, and our credibility is being tested by emboldened adversaries around the world,” McConnell wrote. “The challenges we face will not resolve themselves, nor will our adversaries wait for America to muster the resolve to meet them. The Senate must carefully consider the opportunity in front of us and prepare to act.”
That’s not exactly stentorian. In fact, it sounds like McConnell himself might not be all that sold on it.
Regardless, conservative Republicans in the Senate are already in open rebellion.
Utah’s Mike Lee called the bill a “betrayal of the American people.”
The border deal is even worse than we thought.
No one who cares about our border security should support it. It is a betrayal of the American people.
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) February 5, 2024
Ohio’s J.D. Vance — never known to hold back his thoughts — threw Murphy’s own words back in his face.
“‘The border never closes’ is a good summary of this bill, and of Joe Biden’s police,” Vance wrote.
“I can understand why Chris Murphy supports it. I cannot imagine why any Republican supports this atrocious proposal.”
“The border never closes” is a good summary of this bill, and of Joe Biden’s policy.
I can understand why Chris Murphy supports it. I cannot imagine why any Republican supports this atrocious proposal. https://t.co/ekv7LJ8qbO
— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) February 5, 2024
That is the question Republicans are going to have to answer.
After Sunday’s explosion, that isn’t going to be easy.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.