In an unprecedented move, Ted Cruz utilized a public platform on Tuesday to advocate for the resignation of his Senate leader. This came after Cruz and fellow GOP leaders initially reached a consensus on a “bipartisan” border bill, which, however, still permitted millions of migrants to enter the country illegally each year.
When questioned during a press conference, the Texas Republican was queried about his stance on McConnell (R-Ky.) stepping down following the collapse of the deal. The collapse occurred due to mounting pressure from conservatives and GOP constituents who voiced concerns that the bill prioritized the security of Ukraine and other foreign nations over that of the United States border.
“I think it is,” Cruz responded as he pointed out that all the GOP senators standing with him wanted McConnell to step aside. “I think a Republican leader should actually lead this conference and should advance the priorities of Republicans.”
Cruz was accompanied by Senators Rick Scott (R-FL), Mike Lee (R-UT), Ron Johnson (R-WI), JD Vance (R-OH), Roger Marshall (R-KN), and Eric Schmitt (R-MO). Subsequently, McConnell was questioned about his response to Cruz’s remarks, to which he stated, “It is evident that Senator Cruz does not support the proposal.”
Earlier on Wednesday, several Republican senators were overheard engaging in boisterous discussions behind closed doors while deliberating on a bill that would allocate some funding for border security, as well as significant aid to countries like Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.
During an interview on Fox News’ program “America’s Newsroom” on Tuesday morning, Capitol Hill reporter Aishah Hasnie revealed that even one of the bill’s co-sponsors, Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma, is now inclined to vote against it due to its highly contentious provisions, such as the continued admission of thousands of illegal migrants into the country on a daily basis, until President Joe Biden is compelled to close the border.
Hasnie told Fox News:
“While the past 24 hours have been nothing short of stunning here, we knew that this border deal was dead on arrival in the House, but it’s not likely to make it out of the Senate at all. Republicans are poised to take a procedural vote on this tomorrow, and it’s likely at the author of this big bipartisan deal. The Republican author is likely to vote no on it as well, as well as a Senate majority leader or minority leader.
“Senate Republicans met last night at a closed-door meeting, which got so heated, Dana, at times, that myself and other reporters could actually hear screaming coming from inside the room. When leader Mitch McConnell emerged from the room, he told me that he had a great discussion and that the conference will keep on talking.
“Now, Senator James Lankford, the lead GOP negotiator on this, told me it is clear that the majority of the conference is not ready to vote on this thing, but that there is still interest in adding real amendments and shaping into something, perhaps, that they can stomach. He insists, though, the bill is not dead, but it looks like he may also vote no tomorrow, just for the sake of party unity. Democrats are already lashing out on that lead,
“Democrat negotiator Chris Murphy tweeting this honestly, this is so embarrassing. You told us you wanted a bipartisan border fix. You appointed the Republican negotiator. We got a deal. Stop the drama. Now, there were three senators on the left that had also rejected the bill. But the goal really here, Dana, was to get half of each conference on board. That is not going to happen. Leader Schumer is expected to go on and put this on the floor for a cloture vote tomorrow. Again, that’s expected to fail. As all eyes now shift to the House, where we are watching this impeachment in a few hours.”