In a 67-32 vote on Thursday, 17 Republican senators voted alongside their Democrat colleagues to advance a $95 billion “emergency security spending bill” that included $60 billion in aid to Ukraine and, according to The Washington Post, billions of dollars to “Indo-Pacific allies and $10 billion in humanitarian aid for Gaza.”
This bill was introduced in response to the failure of its so-called bipartisan predecessor, championed by Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell and his Oklahoma-lackey Sen. James Lankford. The previous legislation that supposedly bundled border and foreign aid would have codified the ongoing southern border invasion into law by largely preventing meaningful action from being taken unless there was, as Federalist Senior Editor David Harsanyi noted, a “rolling average of 5,000 border encounters per day for a week, or 8,500 encounters in a single day.”
Subsequently, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer opted to advance the “emergency security spending” legislation, which prioritized foreign assistance without any funding for border security. The Hill reported Schumer as saying, “First Republicans said they would only do Ukraine and Israel, humanitarian aid with border. Then they said they would not do it with [the] border. Well, we’re going to give them both options. We’ll take either one. We just hope they can come to ‘yes’ on something.”
Democrats view the border invasion with optimism. The multinational horde of fighting-age men serves their agenda. Obviously, they’re fine playing politics with this existential threat. Republicans have no excuse; border security is supposed to be a make-or-break issue for them.
So, in light of recent events, it’s worth revisiting comments from 13 of these defective Republicans who vowed to prioritize securing the southern border but have decided that Zelensky’s rainy-day fund is more important than American sovereignty.
Shelley Moore Capito, West Virginia
Previously viewing solidifying the border as an issue of “national security,” Capito highlighted the national government’s inability to verify who the millions of illegal migrants were or where they were coming from.
She said in December, “With 2.4 million (migrants) coming across the border last year and with the highest October ever, and the highest month ever in September — I mean these numbers are just exceedingly way, way over what could have ever been predicting coming across the southern border,” adding, “We don’t know who they are. We know some of them are on the terror watch list. We know some of them are from countries that have terrorists.”
Having previously called for a “four-prong approach” providing aid to “Israel, the border, Ukraine and Tawain,” Capito appears content leaving Americans to fend for themselves.
Bill Cassidy, Louisiana
Despite previously saying, “We got to support our allies, but we got to secure our own border first,” Cassidy opted to forsake his promise to end the “chaos” he adamantly claimed “[t]he American people rightfully so want” to see end.
Cassidy’s Thursday vote, however, calls into question why he is more aligned with the Biden administration’s foreign priorities than ensuring the rights of Americans “to feel safe in their own country.”
Susan Collins, Maine
Although never a reliable conservative, Collins, the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, previously told The Washington Post that border security is an “absolutely essential part” of a bill to send more money to Ukraine.
John Cornyn, Texas
“They want tens of billions of dollars to help our friends and allies overseas, but they’re not willing to do what’s necessary to prevent a potential crisis at the border,” Cornyn previously lamented, adding, “The Biden administration just does not seem to care.”
Cornyn has also now prioritized funding America’s proxy war with Russia over fighting for border funding that could save countless lives and prevent further lawlessness in his home state.
Joni Ernst, Iowa
Noting that Ukraine should not be America’s priority over ensuring our own sovereignty, Ernst previously called on lawmakers to prioritize “national security.”
“The issue is not Ukraine, and it’s not President Zelensky. It’s our own national security at our southern border,” Ernst said in December.
Yet despite there being no significant change in the status of the Ukraine-Russia war, Ernst decided it was more important to send billions abroad instead of fighting to shore up the southern border.
Chuck Grassley, Iowa
“We have to have the same consideration about our own border,” Grassley previously said, calling for domestic action to be taken before any further commitments were made to “the border of Israel and Gaza, Russia and Ukraine.”
John Kennedy, Louisiana
“We’re as serious as four heart attacks and a stroke,” Kennedy previously claimed when calling for border security to be prioritized over foreign assistance.
He said, “Now, the president sent us a national security bill and we said, OK, we’re going to do national security, but we’re not going to pass your bill until you close the border. And the president said, surely you’re not serious. And the Republicans in the Senate said, don’t call me Shirley and we are serious.”
Clearly, Republicans are in no way, shape, or form serious people. If they were, Kennedy and his ilk wouldn’t have lied to the public about how important they consider the border to be.
Mitch McConnell, Kentucky
It’s to be expected that McConnell will always ruin everything. But even he once appeared adamant that there would be no further “supplemental legislation” passing the upper chamber until the border crisis was addressed.
“As my colleagues and I on this side of the aisle have made abundantly clear, national security begins with border security. And any serious supplemental legislation with a shot of passing the Senate in the coming weeks will have to take meaningful steps toward fixing the Biden Administration’s border crisis,” the Senate minority leader said last November.
McConnell’s consistent role as controlled opposition and inability to deliver results has led to several of his colleagues demanding he resign from his role in Senate leadership.
Mitt Romney, Utah
“We’ve got to secure the border,” Romney once demanded. “Any effort that doesn’t do that will be rejected Republicans.”
But much like McConnell, Romney exists to spike the football at the one-yard line. He’s never been serious about advancing a conservative agenda and appears to be similarly uncommitted to protecting America’s borders.
Mike Rounds, South Dakota
“Any bill with aid for Israel and Ukraine must include policy changes at our Southern border,” Rounds proclaimed in November.
Well, so much for that.
John Thune, South Dakota
Noting many congressional Republicans’ commitment to meddling in foreign conflicts that in no identifiable way benefit Americans, Thune said in December, “A lot of us Republicans are very eager to get Ukraine the aid it needs. But we cannot — we cannot — tend to our national security interests abroad while ignoring the national security crisis on our own doorstep.”
But because of Republicans like Thune, the crisis on our doorstep will continue to be ignored, and American lives will be needlessly lost.
Roger Wicker, Mississippi
“We needed to demonstrate that Republicans are not going to pass a supplemental appropriation bill unless it takes care of very important restrictions on the southern border,” Wicker said just a few months ago.
Todd Young, Indiana
“I don’t believe we should take this off the table. … Let’s get something consequential done for the American people,” Young recently said, referring to the importance of fighting for causes like border security that actually benefit Americans.
But he, just like the other Republican defects, is nothing more than a sellout.
In the coming days, the Senate will hold further votes to solidify foreign aid packages before the legislation gets sent to the House, where Speaker Mike Johnson and House Armed Services Committee Chair Mike Rogers claim anything without sufficient border guarantees is dead on arrival.
In that time, it’s likely more Republicans will move to support sending billions of dollars abroad before anything close to resembling a serious border policy comes to the floor. Senators like Lindsey Graham of South Carolina are requesting amendments be added to the legislation that, according to The New York Times, would “cap the number of migrants that could be paroled into the United States at 10,000 annually.”
This legislation requires 60 votes to move forward. Republicans can gain control of the situation and force the national focus to fully be on the southern border, as it should be. Elected Republicans and conservative voters need to remind the defectors that they were elected to protect America, not Ukraine.
Samuel Mangold-Lenett is a staff editor at The Federalist. His writing has been featured in the Daily Wire, Townhall, The American Spectator, and other outlets. He is a 2022 Claremont Institute Publius Fellow. Follow him on Twitter @smlenett.
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