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AP Photo/Eric Gay
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recommended that Republicans vote against the $118 billion border security bill, at least for now. Even Oklahoma Senator Jim Lankford, one of the bill’s authors, indicated that it was too soon to bring the bill to a vote. The sudden about-face on the part of the GOP caucus left Democrat Brian Shatz saying on X, “Just gobsmacked. I’ve never seen anything like it. They literally demanded specific policy, got it, and then killed it.”
The cloture vote scheduled for Wednesday is certain to fail. Without the momentum of its much-anticipated release and the tactical advantage of not giving anyone time to read it, it seems that if the bill does pass, it is unlikely to resemble the atrocity unveiled Sunday night.
The whole bill reeked of bad faith. The drafting was not done using the traditional committee process. Instead, a small group wrote the bill without sharing the contents or general direction with their colleagues. The draft text was released Sunday night, with the first vote scheduled for Wednesday. Two other important but unrelated issues were attached to the border security bill. Though, in fairness, that isn’t the Senate’s fault; it was in answer to a stupid demand by Speaker Mike Johnson. Unfortunately, this kind of dishonest process seems to have been baked into the Senate.