Michael Steele, the former chair of the Republican National Committee, urged lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to “take the win” in the tentative border deal as negotiations continue and uncertainty remains on whether the bipartisan bill will pass.
“Take the win. Take the win. This is a moment that, you know, when you stop and think about it is very clarifying. Democrats and Republicans have negotiated a conservative border bill,” Steele said in an interview on MSNBC on Friday.
The Biden-backed deal faces resistance among House Republicans, with Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) having said the bill would be “dead on arrival” in the House.
“It does a lot of the things that these Republicans in the House, in particular, have been yammering about for years, and quite frankly, did nothing about when Trump was president,” Steele said.
Steele criticized former President Trump’s attempt to get Republicans in both chambers to reject the deal and deny President Biden a legislative win ahead of the 2024 election.
While the text of the border deal being drafted in the Senate has not been released, Steele questioned how Republicans can criticize the bill that they have not yet seen. He predicted the deal will contain “pretty much everything you [have] been yammering about.”
The former party chair shrugged off the argument that House Republicans will hurt themselves in elections if they don’t take the deal, saying they have “already lost the House” and they should just “take the deal.”
He continued, predicting that when it comes down to it, the House GOP will take the deal “because there is no other end game here.”
“Because guess what, if you don’t take the deal, guess who gets the blame for the border problems that happen between now and November?” he said. “Whatever happens, it’s on Republicans at this point.”
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