Mr. Trump has encouraged Republicans to reject any border deal “unless we get EVERYTHING” the party has demanded, fueling the opposition of Republican lawmakers who have argued that the bipartisan proposal, which includes measures to increase deportations and make it more difficult to claim asylum, doesn’t go far enough.
His opposition has made it more difficult to secure the support of a majority of Senate Republicans for an eventual deal, the threshold that backers say they must meet in order to persuade the House to take it up. Even if it meets that bar in the Senate, Speaker Mike Johnson has cast doubt on the prospect that he would bring it to the floor in the House, where hard right lawmakers are vehemently against it.
Mr. McConnell addressed Senate Republicans in a closed-door meeting at the Capitol on Wednesday to discuss the war in Ukraine, in a session convened upon the request of Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, who is among those raising doubts about the border deal.
“I’m literally not getting any kind of acceptable response, other than, ‘Oh, this is great, you know, we’re getting things we never thought we could get,’” Mr. Johnson said of the border talks this week, questioning whether the proposed restrictions would significantly limit the number of migrants trying to cross the border unlawfully.
Other Republicans have said their party would be unwise to give President Biden a compromise that could help him politically without adequately addressing the issue.