In a surprising move, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has recommended that Republicans block the Senate pro-migration border bill from advancing.
The first procedural vote on the bill was scheduled for Wednesday, with uncertainty surrounding Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's (D-NY) response, although it is anticipated he may proceed.
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McConnell's decision stems from a significant number of Senate Republicans intending to vote against the measure, either due to substantive concerns or a desire for more deliberation time.
The GOP Senate leader had previously expressed support for the deal and did not convey personal reservations about the legislation to his colleagues.
According to Punchbowl, McConnell highlighted a shift in the political landscape since the onset of negotiations months ago.
Initially, McConnell and Democratic leaders had agreed to link foreign aid to Ukraine, an issue McConnell strongly advocates for, with a border compromise.
Democrats, while also generally supportive of aiding Ukraine in its conflict against Russia, leveraged McConnell's commitment to Ukraine aid against Republicans, proposing a border compromise in exchange for assistance to the European nation.
Schumer emphasized his collaboration with McConnell on the deal, stating, "I have never worked more closely with Leader McConnell on any piece of legislation as we did on this," during remarks to reporters.
Despite denials from McConnell's chosen Republican lead negotiator Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) and other allies regarding leaked details of the secretive deal, the bill's release on Sunday confirmed these aspects. Overwhelming opposition prompted McConnell to adjust his strategy on Monday night.
Even Lankford, who continued to advocate for the deal leading up to Monday night's Senate Republican Conference meeting, remained noncommittal regarding his vote to proceed on Wednesday.
The proposed plan aims to codify several of President Biden's open border pro-migration policies, which have contributed to a surge in migration overwhelming law enforcement at the southern border.