Nearly one-third of Senate Republicans are asking their leaders not to finalize a border agreement with President Joe Biden and other Democrats without allowing members to review it.
The 15 GOP members sent a letter dated Sunday to Republican Conference Chairman John Barrasso, R-Wyo., to ask for a meeting of all Senate Republicans no sooner than Jan. 8, when the House reconvenes.
“Rushed and secret negotiations with Democrats who want an open border and who caused the current crisis will not secure the border,” the GOP senators’ letter to Barrasso says.
A spokeswoman for Barrasso told The Daily Signal on Monday: “Chairman Barrasso received a request from 15 colleagues for a conference meeting on immigration. He will work with all Republican senators to schedule the meeting.”
Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., was named as the GOP point man to negotiate a border agreement with Senate Democrats. This would be part of a larger deal to fund border security within a national security spending bill to provide U.S. financial aid both to Ukraine’s defense against Russia and Israel’s war with Hamas.
House Republicans have passed separate funding bills for border security and Israel.
“The fact that President Biden and congressional Democrats are the root cause of the current crisis [at the southern border] is a major problem in conducting good faith negotiations with them,” Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., one of the 15 Republicans who signed the letter, said in a written statement Sunday.
The other GOP senators who signed the letter are Mike Lee of Utah; Rick Scott and Marco Rubio of Florida; J.D. Vance of Ohio; Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee; Tommy Tuberville of Alabama; Josh Hawley and Eric Schmitt of Missouri; Ted Budd of North Carolina; Jim Risch of Idaho; Roger Marshall of Kansas; Ted Cruz of Texas; Mike Braun of Indiana; and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.
“Because President Biden has not faithfully executed existing law, lied repeatedly to the public, ignored and violated Supreme Court rulings, and failed to engage in meaningful negotiations on securing the border until only recently, it is impossible for to trust him to comply with whatever he agrees to,” Johnson said. “That’s a real challenge for Republican negotiators.”
Johnson also said he appreciated Lankford’s efforts, but added: “Whatever negotiators produce will need to be fully vetted, discussed, and understood—by members and the general public.”
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