Sen. Lankford Sets High Bar for Republican Support of a Bipartisan Border Giveaway

EAGLE PASS, TEXAS - DECEMBER 17: In an aerial view, a U.S. Border Patrol agent watches ove
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Lead Republican negotiator Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) said GOP Senate leadership will only support a Democrat-backed border-management bill if half of its 49-member caucus supports the deal, Politico reported Friday.

The statement is important because it ensures the bloc of swing-voting GOP Senators in the middle of the party — not just the pro-migration establishment wing — will determine the party’s direction under the glare of an angry GOP base and aggressive outlets such as Breitbart News.

Politico reported:

Senate Republicans don’t control the floor, but Lankford outlined his thinking in an interview. If he can get 25 or more of the 49 GOP senators to sign onto something, he’s betting that it might be enough to get Speaker Mike Johnson to take up a big emergency spending bill with Ukraine aid – without losing the gavel to a conservative rebellion.

When Lankford met with House Republicans on Wednesday, he told them that he doesn’t plan to back a border deal that barely skirts the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster. Lankford explained that he doesn’t want to win “51 Democrats and 10 Republicans. … That is not what this is. This is not just trying to barely squeak it over to them.”

“Let’s be real: [Lankford’s half-the-caucus] goal is incredibly challenging,” Politico added.

Lankford’s half-the-caucus rule means that the Democrats cannot squeeze the giveaway bill through with just the 1o-15 most pro-migration, pro-business Republicans.

The in-the-bag yes votes likely include Sens. Thom Tillis (R-NC), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mike Rounds (R-SD), and Susan Collins (R-ME).

The hell-no bloc has roughly ten Senators. The group includes Sens. J.D. Vance (R-OH), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA).

So the Lankford plan means the Democrats must win roughly 15 votes from the approximately 30-member bloc of Republican Senators who swing between the pro-migration establishment wing and the pro-American populist wing.

That will be difficult because few Senators want to display their support for Biden’s unpopular migration — especially if the giveaway bill will die in the House.

“I don’t think there are 25 [Republican] votes there,” said Chris Chmielenski, president of the Immigration Accountability Project, “unless those Republican senators want to vote … alongside Biden and [border chief Alejandro] Mayorkas.”

Even Tillis suggested in a floor speech on January 10 that less than half of the GOP caucus would back the bill:

I think we’ll probably have 25 or 30 members in this body that won’t vote for it. Some will be because it didn’t go too far [sic]; others it didn’t go far enough … But we need about 70 votes [including 20 GOP votes] coming out of this chamber to create the momentum to get it done in the House. And I’m going to be one of those 70 votes.

The swing Republicans needed by Tillis and Lankford include Sens.  John Barrasso (R-WY), Todd Young (R-IN), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Steve Daines (R-MT), Jodi Ernst (R-IA), Katie Britt (R-AL), John Kennedy (R-LA), and Bill Cassidy (R-LA).

These swing-voting GOP Senators know that many public polls show that independents and GOP voters strongly oppose President Joe Biden’s easy migration policies. Current trends show that opposition is growing as more of Biden’s poor migrants are stuffed into Americans’ schools, cities, and suburbs.

For example, a recent poll by CBS showed that 40 percent of Americans reported a growing number of illegal migrants in their neighborhoods and that 55 percent oppose the arrival of migrants.

Immigration questions from CBS News Poll – January 3-5, 2024, via Scribd

On January 12, Breitbart News reported that leaked descriptions of the bill suggest it will have minimal public support.

The descriptions suggest that Democrats want the bill to help them legalize huge numbers of migrants — but not actually reduce the inflow.

WATCH: Biden Blasts Republican “Extreme Partisan Border Policies,” Then Admits Border Is “Broken”

The White House / YouTube

Chmielenski told Breitbart News:

It essentially authorizes the Biden administration to continue to catch and release people into the country. It authorizes them to give them [illegal immigrants] work permits [and] authorizes them to grant parole [legal status] to everybody that they’re able to funnel to a port of entry.

The terms fall far short of what GOP voters want from a border bill, he added:

I think for starters, [an acceptable bill would revive] Remain in Mexico to end catch and release so every single person who is unauthorized, who tries to enter the country — either by illegally crossing the border or through a [legal] port of entry — is going to have to stay in Mexico until their court date.

The impending 2024 elections also reduce likely GOP support for the bill.

There are few GOP-held Senate seats at risk in 2024. But four GOP Senators who might vote for the giveaway have a major electoral incentive to vote against it before their 2024 primary and November elections. The four include Sens. Roger Wicker (R-MS), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Deb Fischer (R-NE), and Pete Ricketts (R-NE).

Also, the elections may put the Republican Senators back in the majority if they play their cards right.

For example, the Democrats lost five seats in 2014 after the GOP House blocked the Senate’s 2013 “Gang of Eight” amnesty that year. The 2014 election provided the GOP with five extra seats in the Senate and the largest GOP majority in Congress since 1929 — and also pushed Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) down into the minority for six years.

The GOP’s Senate leader is Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY). He has enough clout to push the bill through the Senate — but he also hides his real intentions from voters, reporters, and pro-migration investor donors.

Also, McConnell may retire if the GOP does not gain a majority in the 2024 election. That defeat is far more likely if McConnell muscles the unpopular bill through the Senate.

Moreover, three Republican senators are jostling to replace him in his leadership position if he leaves in 2024 or 2025.

The three senators have a big incentive to avoid endorsing a giveaway bill that will hurt their party’s chances in 2024 — and also ruin their hopes of being picked by their GOP peers as McConnell’s replacement.

Those three rivals include Barrasso, Sen John Thune (R-SD), and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).

Moreover, a few Democrats might vote against the migration giveaway, which would then require additional Republicans to back the bill. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is in a tough reelection campaign, and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is retiring.

Extraction Migration

Since at least 1990, the federal government has relied on Extraction Migration to grow the economy after allowing investors to move the high-wage manufacturing sector to lower-wage countries.

The migration policy extracts vast amounts of human resources from needy countries. The additional workers, consumers, and renters push up stock values by shrinking Americans’ wages, subsidizing low-productivity companies, boosting rents, and spiking real estate prices.

The economic policy has pushed many native-born Americans out of careers in a wide variety of business sectors, reduced native-born Americans’ productivity and political clout, and reduced high-tech innovation.

It also has allowed government officials to divorce themselves from the rising death rate of poor Americans.

The policy also sucks jobs and wealth from heartland states by subsidizing coastal investors and government agencies with a flood of rival low-wage workers, high-occupancy renters, and government-aided consumers.

The colonialism-like policy has also killed many thousands of migrants, including many on the taxpayer-funded jungle trail through the Darien Gap in Panama.

A group of migrants, mostly Venezuelans, prepare to start crossing the Darien Gap from Colombia into Panama hoping to reach the U.S., Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

A group of migrants, mostly Venezuelans, prepare to start crossing the Darien Gap from Colombia into Panama hoping to reach the United States, Saturday, October 15, 2022. (Fernando Vergara/AP)

A group of migrants, mostly Venezuelans, walk across the Darien Gap from Colombia into Panama hoping to reach the U.S. on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

A group of migrants, mostly Venezuelans, walk across the Darien Gap from Colombia into Panama hoping to reach the United States on Saturday, October 15, 2022. (Fernando Vergara/AP)


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