Lead GOP negotiator: No border package vote this week, ‘very hopeful’ on deal text

Sen. James Lankford said that there will not be a vote this week on the bipartisan package of border-foreign assistance as senators continue to work on final sticking points.

Lankford, R-Okla., said he is “very hopeful” he and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., will be able to release the deal text they’ve been negotiating this week.

Lankford stated that a vote could take place later this week, if everything continues to fall into place. He added that there “certainly would not” be a vote in this week.

Murphy said that the negotiators were working “as quickly as we could.” There are still some issues to be resolved.

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There is no need to wait for weeks before we can get this bill passed. Murphy added, “I am hoping that our Republican colleagues work with us in the coming days to finish the supplemental – both the necessary policy changes and funding to implement the policy changes – so that we can respond to the call for Ukraine.”

Senate Republicans discussed the negotiations for the majority of their lunch behind closed doors. Some expressed frustration over the lengthy talks, while others voiced concerns about leadership forcing a quick vote. Conservatives also propose breaking the border-foreign assistance deal into separate pieces, each of which would get its own vote.

“Several points came out… at decibels a little higher that normal,” said Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind. ).

Braun summarized the frustration at the lunch meeting. “It has taken so long. Now there is talk of maybe getting something on the floor and voting about it in a few days.” “I think that would create a real uproar.”

Lankford said that, when asked about the feedback from some of his colleagues, “everyone wants to read it.” Everyone wants to read it.

He said, “They are all disappointed that they are not present.”

Senators had hoped that they would be able to vote on the deal this week, but signs were showing it to be increasingly unlikely.

There are still a few outstanding items. John Thune, Senate GOP Whip (R-S.D.), told reporters earlier Tuesday that we are not in a position to complete this work this week. Earlier Tuesday, John Thune (R-S.D.) told reporters that we were not on a glide path to get this done.

Negotiators and the leadership said Tuesday they believe they are still close to a settlement. Even if the Senate approves a deal, the House could be a tough sell, as a growing number conservatives are opposed to additional Ukraine aid.

We will allow members to read the text prior to voting, we can guarantee that. “We will work out the details of amendments and the way we deal with the floor once we have reached an agreement,” said Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer to reporters.