Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) swiped at his Republican colleagues for opposing a deal being crafted in the Senate that pairs border and migration policy changes with Ukraine aid before the text of the bill is out.
“The height of stupidity is having a strong opinion on something you know nothing about,” Crenshaw said Thursday. “So, I don’t have a strong opinion on the bill because I haven’t seen it. Nobody has.”
Crenshaw’s message is a major break from top House Republicans, including Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.). Johnson has said if reports about what is in the deal are true, it would be “dead on arrival” in the House.
“I’m extremely disappointed in the very strange maneuvering by many on the right to torpedo a potential border reform bill. That’s what we all ran on doing,” Crenshaw continued. “If we have a bill that, on net, significantly decreases illegal immigration, and we sabotage that, that is inconsistent with what we told our voters we would do.”
“It would be a pretty unacceptable dereliction of your duty,” Crenshaw said.
One point of contention between Republican critics and the deal’s defenders is over new executive emergency border shutdown powers that would kick in after 5,000 crossings per day. Johnson said this week that the authority should be utilized at zero crossings per day.
Some conservatives have argued that the provision greenlights 5,000 illegal crossings per day, but Sen. James Lankford (Okla.), one of the Republican negotiators on the deal, said that is “misinformation.”
Disputes over the reported details may soon be resolved. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said later Thursday that the Senate border deal would be released before Sunday.
Crenshaw also brought up the argument that some Republicans are opposed to the bill for other political reasons.
“There are some in the Senate and in the House who are desperately trying to sabotage it for other reasons. Maybe they think that securing the border would help [President] Biden politically. Which, of course it would, but I want to secure the border. That’s what I told my voters I would do,” Crenshaw said.
Another major figure looming over border talks is former President Trump, who has urged Republicans — and Johnson specifically — to “only make a deal that is PERFECT ON THE BORDER” and reject any Senate deal “unless we get EVERYTHING needed to shut down the INVASION of Millions & Millions of people.”
Asked about Trump, though, Crenshaw told a CNN reporter to not “create some kind of drama here.”
“Stop instigating against border security,” Crenshaw said. “If the bill sucks, the bill sucks. But we don’t know if the bill sucks.”