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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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Politics

McConnell reiterates support after risking border deal over Trump opposition

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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Thursday, Jan. 25 he still supports a border security deal that’s linked to aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. He put months of negotiations in question when, on the previous night, he said he didn’t want to do anything to undermine the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who opposes the deal. 

The possibility that Donald Trump could derail a bipartisan negotiation made multiple Republicans speak out and encourage negotiators to keep moving forward. The Senate has been working nonstop since October 2023 to come up with a bipartisan agreement.

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“Shocking that politics plays a role in this building, absolutely shocking. I can’t imagine that’s the case,” Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said sarcastically when asked for his reaction to the development. 

According to Punchbowl News, McConnell told Republicans during a closed-door meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 24 that, “politics on this have changed” and that the time to get the border deal done may have passed. That did not sit well with many Republicans SAN spoke with Thursday. 

“I think James Lankford has been working very hard to secure the southern border, to give the next president, whoever it is, more authority so that we can secure the southern border,” Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., told reporters. “So anything that interrupts that negotiation, I think would be tragic.”

“The idea that someone running for president would say, ‘Please hurt the country so I can blame my opponent and help my politics’ is a shocking development,” Romney said. 

The lead Democratic negotiator, Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, said they have had the outlines of a deal done for several days and that more than 90% is written. 

“I know there is a group of Republicans that just wants to keep this issue open, that wants to keep chaos at the border in order to exploit that politically,” Murphy told reporters. “But I still believe that there are enough Republicans to join with Democrats to do something together.”

Murphy said people could know in a matter of 24 to 48 hours whether Trump’s opposition to the deal is enough to derail it. 

As lawmakers negotiate how to get aid to Israel and other allies, 49 Senators — including 46 Democrats and three independents who caucus with the Democrats — introduced an amendment to the foreign aid package to reiterate U.S. policy that there needs to be a two-state solution between Israel and Gaza. 

“The pathway to peace will be a Palestinian state and the State of Israel living side by side, each recognizing the other’s security and rights to exist with a stronger economic prosperity for all,” Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Ben Cardin, D-Md., said. 

Supporters of the amendment include lawmakers who have been unapologetically pro-Israel since the war began, including Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., who are all Jewish.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., also supports the amendment. He, too, is Jewish and is calling for the U.S. to stop sending Israel money that can be used in the war effort. 

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Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah: “Shocking that politics plays a role in this building. I absolutely shocking. I can’t imagine that’s the case.” 

[RAY BOGAN]

Mitch McConnell says he still supports a border security deal that’s linked to aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. 

But Wednesday night he put months of negotiations in jeopardy when he said he doesn’t want to do anything to undermine the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who is against the deal. 

Just the possibility that Donald Trump could undermine or derail a bipartisan negotiation made multiple Republicans want to speak out and encourage negotiators to keep moving forward.

Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind.:I think James Lankford has been working very hard to secure the southern border, to give the next president, whomever it is, more authority so that we can secure the southern border. So anything that interrupts that negotiation, I think would be tragic.”

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah:And the idea that, that someone running for president would say, Please hurt the country so I can blame my opponent and help my politics is a a shocking development.”

[RAY BOGAN]

The lead Democratic negotiator, Senator Chris Murphy says they have had the outlines of a deal done for several days and that it’s more than 90% written. 

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn.:I know there is a group of Republicans that just wants to keep this issue open that wants to keep chaos at the border in order to exploit that politically. But I still believe that there’s enough Republicans to join with Democrats to do something together.”

[RAY BOGAN]

Murphy says we could know in a matter of 24 to 48 hours whether Trump’s opposition to a deal is enough to derail it. 

Meanwhile, as lawmakers negotiate how to get aid to Israel and other allies, 49 Senators, including 46 Democrats and three independents who caucus with the Democrats introduced an amendment to the foreign aid package to reiterate US policy that there needs to be a two-state solution between Israel and Gaza. 

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md.:And the pathway to peace will be a Palestinian state and the State of Israel living side by side, each recognizing the other’s security and rights to exist with a stronger economic prosperity for all.” 

[RAY BOGAN]

Supporters of the amendment include lawmakers who have been unapologetically pro-Israel since the war began, including Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senators Richard Blumenthal and Jacky Rosen who are all Jewish. Senator Bernie Sanders also supports the amendment. He too is Jewish and is calling for the US to stop sending Israel money that can be used in the war effort.  Straight from DC, I’m Ray Bogan.