McConnell's team preparing a 'really serious' border package -- by taking pointers from Mayorkas
What is with Mitch McConnell?
He's all in for a big Senate spendathon on foreign aid, combining popular causes, such as aid to Israel, with unpopular ones, such as aid to Ukraine, which probably couldn't get passed in either house without that Israel latch-on. After all, Ukraine's war leaders are 'stealing like there's no tomorrow,' as one of President Volodymyr Zelensky advisors put it. There's also a small package for Taiwan, which is presumably non-controversial.
And with the border left unguarded to every bad actor out there, and the FBI chief saying he expects a terrorist attack, public pressure to secure the border has made border security an add-on to sweeten the Ukraine pill more still.
Here's how McConnell says he's going to work it, according to Semafor:
If Democrats want a big foreign aid package for Israel and Ukraine, they’ll need to swallow some major concessions on border security.
That’s the message Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other top Republicans sent on Tuesday, as Washington headed for a showdown over overseas military spending. “I think Democrats will have to accept a really serious US-Mexico border protection bill in order to get our people on board for a comprehensive approach” to Israel and Ukraine, McConnell told reporters at his weekly press conference.
Here's how he's actually going to do it:
Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) is leading a group of Republicans — and some Democrats, though he won’t name names — who are trying to write a border-related bill that could conceivably clear the 60-vote Senate threshold. Lankford told us he’s not aiming to make this a conservative wish list.
“We’re not trying to over-ask. We’re trying to ask ‘What are the things that DHS is also asking for, what are the things that need to be done to actually stop the acceleration of people coming across the border?’” Lankford said, naming asylum laws as one area to address.
Lankford serves, quite unusually, on the Senate Finance and Senate Appropriations committees, occupying two "Super-A" spots, and does so on a waiver of rules. It's unlikely he'd do something at odds with McConnell.
Based on his stated remarks, he operates like McConnell, which means no political hardball with Joe Biden or his Democrats. Not trying to over-ask? He's sitting there in the catbird seat with power to squelch this whole foreign aid spendathon with the power to make or break any deal, and he wants to defer to Democrats? He's got the leverage: But he chooses to lick, not bite.
What's worse is the rest of his statement: "What are the things the DHS is asking for," he says, indicating that he's taking his cue from what Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas wants for the border, not what the American people want for the border. Deferring to Mayorkas sounds like a nightmare, given that all Mayorkas wants is to throw money at the problem, enact easy amnesty to clear the migrant backlogs, and shell out for faster processing times, to speed the illegals conveyor belt into the states for the illegals' convenience. Far from stopping the border mess, it will incentivize more foreigners to come here illegally.
That's what Mayorkas, who ought to be impeached, wants, but not what the American people want.
We can safely assume there will be no border wall, no remittance taxes, no worker right to sue for depressing wages, no pressure on foreign governments to keep their nationals happy to live in their home countries, no billing of illegal migrants or their home country governments for the costs they incur, no vetting of migrants, or respect for the laws on the books requiring Congress to set immigration quotas or migrants who will become public charges to be inadmissable to the states..
If this is the best Mitch and his Senate allies have to offer, we are in a world of trouble.
Mickey Kaus has the right sort of reaction here:
BS ALERT: Sen. Lankford, who's putting together McConnell's "serious" border package, says “We’re trying to ask ‘What are the things that DHS is also asking for, what are the things that need to be done."— Mickey Kaus (@kausmickey) November 2, 2023
Psst. If Mayorkas is asking for them, they won't do the job.… https://t.co/Ooht56hheQ
As does Maria Bartiromo:
This has the makings of a very bad bill if Democrats are not required to trade border security for the wars around the world they long to keep bankrolling.
Image: Twitter screen shot