Texas Representative Troy Nehls showed his true colors on Wednesday, refusing to back any sort of border deal because he claimed it could help President Joe Biden’s slumping poll numbers.
“Let me tell you, I’m not willing to do too damn much right now to help a Democrat and to help Joe Biden’s approval rating,” the MAGA Republican told CNN.
“I will not help the Democrats try to improve this man’s dismal approval ratings. I’m not going to do it. Why would I? Chuck Schumer has had H.R. 2 on his desk since July. And he did nothing with it,” Nehls added.
Republican loyalty to H.R. 2, an asylum-limiting immigration bill that passed in the House with zero Democratic votes, has proven to be an unstoppable headache for Congress with an almost zero percent chance of passing in the Democratic-controlled Senate or being signed by the president.
That hasn’t stopped House Republicans, more than 60 of whom traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border on Wednesday, from rejecting any sort of bipartisan deal on border security.
And Nehl’s confession on Wednesday may hint at the reason why: Republicans care more about who sits in the White House than doing anything about the border situation they keep harping on about.
“When the House clings to H.R. 2 as the only solution … we’re not going to get a deal,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Wednesday. “We’re willing to meet the Republicans a good part of the way. I think now in the last few days, many Republicans have begun to realize that we are willing to do that and how serious we are about getting this done.”
The transparently vacuous approach to building a border wall is not an uncommon party trick for conservatives, who have been so inoperative on their self-proclaimed party objectives in recent years that their own caucus has taken to railing against them on the House floor.
In November, Representative Chip Roy laid into his party for failing to pass any laws or reach meaningful policy goals that could translate to campaign talking points, leveraging years of inaction at the border under Trump’s presidency as his primary example.
“One thing. I want my Republican colleagues to give me one thing. One. That I can go campaign on and say we did,” Roy said. “One!”
“With all due respect to former President Trump, they sure as hell didn’t get border security done when we had the White House and the House and the Senate,” Roy said. “Talked a big game about building a wall and having Mexico pay for it. Ain’t no wall, and Mexico didn’t pay for it, and we didn’t pass any border security.”