Just three hours before going to the Senate floor, urging other Republicans to vote for it and emphasizing the need to pass the legislation, McConnell was behind closed doors telling them not to vote for it when he realized it wouldn’t pass.
Source: Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Facing a growing torrent of intraparty criticism, Senate Republicans on Monday resisted advancing a bipartisan proposal intended to clamp down on illegal border crossings, signalling a likely defeat in Congress that would leave leaders with no clear path to approve wartime aid for Ukraine.
In a dramatic turnaround, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell recommended to GOP senators in a closed-door meeting that they vote no on the first procedural vote Wednesday, according to two people familiar with the meeting who were not authorized to speak publicly about it and instead spoke anonymously.
The McConnell about-face came just hours after the Kentucky Republican had urged colleagues on the Senate floor that “it’s now time for Congress to take action.”
McConnell has struggled to marshal his conference to move on the package of $118 billion package of border-enforcement policy and funding for Ukraine, Israel and other U.S. allies.
Later on, Sen. James Lankford signalled he’d also vote against the bill he wrote (along with Sen. Chris Murphy and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema) with some Orwellian double-speak.
He then tried to argue that even if he votes against advancing his own bill this week, that it wouldn’t necessarily mean that he opposes it since it could still come up at a later date.
“Voting against cloture is not, for me, voting against the bill… 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,” Lankford said.
So, in the afternoon, we got this:
And in the evening, we got this:
Which had heads spinning. Surreal indeed.