For Some Reason, Sen. James Lankford Won't Commit to Advancing His Own Border Deal

It would appear the bipartisan coalition advancing the disastrous border deal might be collapsing within 24 hours of the bill’s text being released.

That appears to be the implication of comments made Monday evening by Sen. James Lankford, one of the Republicans who worked on the deal and defended it both before and after the full text was released. Lankford had doubled-down on the bill earlier on Monday, attacking those who were critical of the bill, particularly those questioning the “5,000” number in the bill.

READ MORE: Senator Lankford Doubles Down Denying 5,000 Illegals Will Be Admitted Daily No Matter What the Bill Says

But the Senator’s confidence in the bill’s future appears to be waning.

In a media scrum Monday evening, Lankford suddenly seemed unsure if he would even be pushing his own bill.

“The biggest issue that I have is, obviously, I’ve got a lot of members that have questions on it,” Lankford told the press. “It’s not going to move and become law if we try to be able to force this right now on it.”

Lankford, one of the primary defenders of the bipartisan bill, was also one of its staunchest defenders against what he was calling “misinformation” about the bill. He maintains that there is no 5,000 illegal immigrant quota before closing the border. However, the text of the bill does say that after an average of 5,000 “encounters” a day over a seven-day period, then emergency authorizations to close the border can happen.

Most opponents of the bill take that to mean that 35,000 illegal immigrants may enter the country before the Biden administration would take action and shut the border down.

Lankford said that would not be the case, and that the bill “closes” the border. However, Democratic Senator Chris Murphy said Sunday night that the bill does not, in fact, close the border – a fact he was celebrating.

Other Republicans have been blasting the bill, with House Speaker Mike Johnson telling Laura Ingraham that, yes, it’s dead on arrival.

“There’s no way we could bring this through the House,” he told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham on Monday night. “It would not resolve any of the problems, not reform them in any meaningful way. The broken asylum system, the broken parole process, and all the things that have created this catastrophe.”

Lankford now seems to think that his bill is going nowhere – and he won’t even commit to voting for cloture, giving a word salad of a statement to reporters.

“Voting against cloture is not, for me, voting against the bill,” he said. “Cloture is, do we get on this and start debating now or do we get on it and debate it later? So it’s not voting against the bill, even though I vote against cloture on Wednesday”

What is absolutely clear is that conservatives are outraged that some of their own would deem this an acceptable bill. House Republicans are dead set against bringing it to the floor, and if even Lankford is struggling to acknowledge whether or not he supports it right now, that all but spells doom for the bipartisan effort.

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