Anti-Fascist Conservative Republicans Are Flocking To The Democrats. Are They Bringing Conservatism?
And Economic Progressive Blue Collar Dems Are Going Over To the GOP
I always get a good feeling when Obama’s former Solicitor General Neal Katyal shows up on the screen on MSNBC— or at least I did ’til this week. This week I read the piecer by Julia Rock in The Lever, Top Dems Press Supreme Court To Block Billionaire Tax. Along with conservative ex-Senators John Breaux (D-LA) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Katyal turns out to be a major scumbag and everything I hate about corporate Democraps.
“Katyal,” reported Rock, “recently submitted an amicus brief in the Supreme Court case Moore v. United States on behalf of the group Saving America’s Family Enterprises (SAFE). That anonymously funded group— whose board includes corporate lobbyists [like Breaux]— has spearheaded campaigns against Democrats’ efforts to tax the inheritances and wealth of millionaires and billionaires. Now the group is aiming to use the obscure corporate taxation case to elicit a broad ruling that outlaws all wealth taxes. Katyal is an MSNBC mainstay who came to prominence as a liberal defender of Republican president Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominees [Why Liberals Should Back Neil Gorsuch], all of whom will now rule on the case. In recent years, Katyal has helped Nestlé defend itself in a child slavery case before the Supreme Court and represented Johnson & Johnson in its bid to use bankruptcy to block lawsuits from cancer victims.
Why isn’t Bernie a Democrat? I’m going to guess it may be for the same reason I’m not. [I was once elected president of the Young Democratic Club at Stony Brook and even earlier… that’s me— age 16— in the middle on the Atlantic City boardwalk when the Democrats had their LBJ convention there. I worked for Rep Bill Ryan when he ran for NYC mayor and for RFK when he ran for the Senate.]
Once I turned 18, I remembered what my grandfather, a committed FDR/New Deal supporter, had told me— “There’s only one thing worse than a Democrat, a Republican.” I stopped thinking of myself as a Democrat. Oh yeah— the reason. I’m in no way committed to the organization, just to progressive policies the party sometimes backs and sometimes opposes. I support candidates and incumbents who support those policies— like AOC, Cori Bush, Jeff Merkley, Rashida Tlaib, Pramila Jayapal and these candidates for the House— and oppose, not just Republicans but also Democrats who oppose those policies, certainly Blue Dogs and New Dems.
Yesterday, the New Republic published an intense essay by Ben Jacobs, Are “Never Trump” Republicans Actually Just Democrats Now?. A fear of mine is that as conservative Democrats and corporatists who already control much of the Democratic Party, welcome Trump-hating Republicans into the fold, the party will get more and more conservative.
Jacobs reminded his readers that Hillary won almost about 3 million more votes than Trump did— 62,984,828 (46.1%) to 65,853,514 (48.2%). “Whether it was his xenophobic remarks about immigrants, his crude personal behavior, or his general disdain for the norms of American politics, many white, college-educated voters— long a bedrock of the GOP— cast their ballot either for Hillary Clinton or for a third-party candidate to avoid supporting Trump… [I]n special election after special election in the coming year, culminating in the 2018 midterms, it was clear there was a lasting revulsion from these Republicans toward the Trump-era GOP. This was reinforced in 2020, when these voters appear to have turned even more heavily against Trump, helping Joe Biden run the table in the most competitive swing states. This tranche of voters is not huge, but they may be decisive— in 2020, 16 percent of self-identified moderate or liberal Republicans voted for Biden, according to an analysis by Pew, twice the share that did so in 2016. This even as Biden won a narrow electoral college victory by a combined margin of just under 43,000 votes in Arizona, Georgia, and Wisconsin. Bryon Allen, a longtime Republican pollster and partner at WPA Intelligence, noted that, before Trump, Republicans in many suburban counties would get narrow majorities. ‘Now, without a [GOP Georgia Governor Brian] Kemp or a [GOP Virginia Governor Glenn] Youngkin or somebody who has particular appeal and the right issues … we might get 47 percent or 48 percent’ in the same areas.”
He also noted that “While [a Republican] civil war rages, a faction of erstwhile Republicans has opted out of the fight and simply decided to back Democrats. With many of these well-educated suburbanites poised to vote for Joe Biden again in 2024, the question isn’t just whether they will swing what is likely to be yet another tight election next year, but whether they are part of the Democratic coalition moving forward. Conversations with pollsters and operatives from both parties suggest that, after a third straight election in which Trump is the leader of the GOP, Republicans may find that they have alienated these voters forever, while creating plenty of new Democrats along the way… Trump’s ability to alienate Republicans has long been palpable at the elite level. There is a seemingly endless roster of former professional GOPers who have become staples on cable news since 2016. For much of the 2020 campaign, the turncoat Republican consultants of the anti-Trump group the Lincoln Project were inescapable, as they flogged viral campaign ads (which often seemed to serve mostly to titillate loyal Democrats). Meanwhile, before and after the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, laundry lists of former Republican elected officials who found Trump antithetical to their values provided a steady diet of fodder for Democratic press releases. A number of these figures are now essentially Democrats. In 2021, longtime Republican and erstwhile Clinton nemesis Bill Kristol endorsed and actively campaigned for Terry McAuliffe, the über Clinton loyalist, during his unsuccessful Virginia gubernatorial bid. In 2022, Evan McMullin, who ran a quixotic third-party presidential campaign in 2016 to provide an alternative for Never Trumpers, was the de facto Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in Utah. Those who haven’t entirely renounced the GOP, like former Illinois Representative Adam Kinzinger and former Pennsylvania Representative Charlie Dent, have nonetheless become cable news fixtures who speak progressives’ language.” He means they speak Democrats’ language, certainly not progressives’ language. But Jacobs is a DC political reporter so he certainly wouldn’t have any clue that there’s a difference. Keep that in mind as you read on.
The far less explored phenomenon is the movement of the rank-and-file Never Trumpers. Operatives and analysts on both sides of the aisle agree that the key factor driving the suburban trend toward Democrats in the last decade is education polarization. College-educated white voters have become much more likely to vote Democrat, and non-college white voters have become much more inclined to vote Republican. This had been percolating long before Trump emerged onto the scene, but it sped up dramatically once he came down that golden escalator in 2015. At the same time, the composition of the larger electorate is constantly changing as well: An increasingly large portion of voters are college-educated— 41 percent in 2020, compared to only 5 percent in 1952. This surge has continued as what was once a reliable GOP constituency has been shifting more heavily toward Democrats: 54 percent of white college graduates voted for Mitt Romney in 2012, but, by 2020, only 46 percent voted for Trump, according to numbers from Democratic data firm Catalist. Jonathan Robinson, the firm’s director of research, used an analogy from geology. Continents are always drifting in different directions, but sometimes a volcano explodes and accelerates what would otherwise be a slow, inexorable process.
…Perhaps the terrain where this transition has been most stark is in the northern suburbs of Atlanta. Ringing the upper half of the Perimeter, the beltway that encircles the city, the region sits like an eyebrow growing steadily thicker every year as sprawl turns farmland into exurbs and exurbs into suburbs. It spans what was once the heartland of the Georgia Republican Party and now serves as the center of a booming regional economy. The prosperity is almost as thick as the humid summer heat. For every Waffle House, there is a shiny new Starbucks, and the highways are choked with fresh construction. In front of a bright suburban library, a yard sign reads COMMUNITY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN POLITICS, only feet from a rusty historical marker detailing Civil War troop movements at the site.
Metro Atlanta is packed with transplants from all over the country and the world. At a Dunkin Donuts in a strip mall in the prosperous suburb of Alpharetta that also features an Indian vegetarian restaurant and a Korean barbecue joint, the state’s former Republican lieutenant governor, Geoff Duncan, told TNR that the Atlanta-area eyebrow is the region that “determines every election” in the Peach State. It was the first place where the Republican backlash to Trump fully hit the national consciousness. GOP Representative Tom Price had won his district six times with more than 60 percent of the vote. But in 2017, he was appointed to Trump’s Cabinet, and a special election held to fill his seat resulted in only a slim Republican victory. The race— which ended in a narrow loss by Democrat Jon Ossoff, a previously unknown 30-year-old— featured a deluge of media coverage and tens of millions in outside spending.
Since then, this area has emerged as a bona fide political battleground. In 2018, Democrats won the seat Ossoff lost and only narrowly lost an adjacent House seat by 419 votes. In 2020, they picked up that seat, too, and the region was crucial not just to Joe Biden’s presidential victory but to the balance of power in the U.S. Senate, when wins by Ossoff and Raphael Warnock determined control of the chamber.
Then, in 2022, something changed. Incumbent Governor Brian Kemp managed to win over some of these voters, as every Republican running for state office went on to victory in what was a disappointing midterm election nationally for the GOP. Even so, at the federal level, Warnock further improved on past Democratic performance and beat Herschel Walker, the scandal-ridden and gaffe-prone Republican nominee, to secure a full term in the Senate.
For Duncan, there is a clear lesson here, and it’s not purely one of demographic change. “As far as Republicans and moderates are concerned, I think it’s that Republicans don’t like crazy,” he said. In Duncan’s view, running Trump and candidates like Trump gave voters “an excuse to leave the Republican Party. It’s just really easy to explain to the watercooler. ‘Hey, I can’t’— I mean, I hear this all day, every day— ‘Hey, I can’t vote Republican until this party purges itself of hateful people like Donald Trump.’” But, he noted, these voters are “paying attention, because that suburban mom in Cobb County [near Atlanta] voted for Brian Kemp. Right? They’re articulate enough to understand who they’re voting for.” Still, he warned, time is running out for the GOP to win back these voters. “If we let this nonsense and Donald Trump go on too long, we’ll probably lose that voter for a lifetime,” he said.
The trends are clear, driven by a mix of voters changing parties and in-migration by transplants to the area. In Cobb County, Romney won with 55.5 percent of the vote in 2012, but Biden won with 56.3 percent in 2020, with the Democratic presidential vote total jumping by nearly 90,000, while the Republican vote fell by more than 6,000. A similar phenomenon has played out in Gwinnett, another suburban Atlanta county, where Democrats made even more dramatic gains. Romney won with 54 percent in 2012, and Biden won with 58.4 percent in 2020; Trump received fewer than 7,000 more votes than Romney had, while some 110,000 more votes were cast for Biden than for Barack Obama in 2012. In contrast, Brian Kemp did better in both counties in 2022 than he did four years before in his rematch against Stacey Abrams.
The shift away from the GOP in this area “happened probably more quickly than I anticipated,” said a former officeholder who was granted anonymity to speak frankly about the region’s politics. “But for the time being, I think that the sentiment remains very strong— not that people are strongly supporting Biden, but they certainly are strongly un-supporting the former president.”
If the picture is a nuanced one, however, it’s clear that some former Republicans have quickly become ardent Democrats.
Angie Jones grew up in a Republican family in east Tennessee, just a couple of hours north of Atlanta, and it wasn’t a casual attachment. Her father, a lawyer, worked on Senator Howard Baker’s campaigns, and as a result she spent part of her adolescence as a Senate page in the Capitol. Her youthful experience with the legislative process left her somewhat cynical about politics. Still, she voted Republican reliably, a habit she kept up after moving to Atlanta for college, getting married, having two daughters, and settling down in the prosperous suburb of Johns Creek. But the lifelong churchgoer eventually started questioning her worldview. The son of a family friend who also attended their church came out as gay, and it sparked an awful backlash from other church members. “That became a kind of watershed moment in my life,” she said.
“In the beginning, I blamed politics that infected the church for causing these otherwise good, decent people—and they are otherwise good, decent people. They’re not monsters. But they behaved like monsters towards the family,” she said. “And it’s easier for me to blame the politics that infected the church than to blame the religious belief that had infected the politics at that time. By the time Donald Trump came along, I’m not sure if the tail is wagging the dog or the dog is wagging the tail,” she added.
Jones was speaking to TNR at a Whole Foods in Sandy Springs, a suburb that was only incorporated as a city in 2005, when the wealthy, majority-white area effectively separated itself from Fulton County, the jurisdiction that includes Atlanta. Since then, it has grown far more diverse and far more progressive. A Romney voter in 2012, Jones cast her ballot for independent McMullin in 2016. She felt he was a decent man, and she was skeptical of Hillary Clinton’s chances to win Georgia. Her full-scale immersion in progressive politics didn’t begin until the next year, during the special election for Congress. “I went into one of [Ossoff’s] field offices and said, ‘I’m here to volunteer. I’ve never done anything on a political campaign. I have no idea what to do. But I felt like I needed to do something. And this is something I can do.’”
Jones has never stopped campaigning for Democrats at every level since then. She has tended to think she’s basically a centrist, but noted that the Republicans with whom she still talks politics find her “pretty liberal.” When pressed about her views, she said, “I don’t think it’s overly progressive to say that children shouldn’t get shot in math class, but apparently that’s a progressive ideology. I don’t think it’s progressive to say that forced pregnancy is a human rights violation, but that seems to be pretty progressive, pretty liberal.” When prodded, she only took issue with one left-wing idea: She thought it was a bit much for a couple of her friends to favor confiscating all civilian-owned firearms. That, in her opinion, is “wacky.”
In a home where Fox News was once on frequently, she now watches MSNBC much more often, as it features many voices who she feels reflect her political journey, like Nicolle Wallace, a former Republican strategist, and Joe Scarborough, the former Republican congressman. Looking back at her past politics, she noted, “One of my biggest regrets to this day is I never voted for Barack Obama. That will go down in my own personal history as one of my biggest regrets.”
…Catalist’s data showed that, while 46 percent of white, college-educated voters supported Barack Obama in 2012, 54 percent cast their ballot for Joe Biden in 2020. However, that dropped back in 2022, when 50 percent of white, college-educated voters supported Democratic candidates for the House in the midterms. But that data comes with a caveat. Robinson found that candidates who were election deniers received “a MAGA penalty” in top-of-the-ticket races of up to 4 percent. Thus the divide in Georgia, where Kemp, a party-line conservative save for his objections to Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, ran ahead of Herschel Walker. This was echoed by Allen, the Republican pollster, who said a clear lesson of the 2022 midterms was that the Republicans “who were the most emulative of Trump … definitely had a significant challenge.” He thought Republican losses among these voters would not be “a permanent problem for a different nominee with a message that would work.” As Sarah Longwell, a longtime Republican operative who has since become a vocal Never Trumper herself, pointed out, these voters “wanted to vote for Republicans; they just didn’t want to vote for the Republicans that were on offer” in states like Pennsylvania, Arizona, and, in Herschel Walker’s case, Georgia.
One confounding variable with these voters in 2022 was the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Dobbs to overturn Roe v. Wade. The ruling was projected in the immediate aftermath to drive a huge number of pro-choice female voters to the polls and accelerate the exodus of white, college-educated women from the GOP. However, Robinson said that its impact was most felt for Democrats among noncollege-educated white women, and that it had less of an effect among the voters who had already shifted in 2020. Longwell, for her part, emphasized that it mattered more for some candidates than others: “It was actually a much more holistic problem where, between abortion and election denialism, it painted a picture of a candidate that the voters just thought [was] too extreme.”
It’s unlikely that Republican candidates will moderate their views on these issues any time soon. In 2023, 76 percent of Republicans identify as pro-life, according to a Gallup poll, a record number. Polling shows that self-identified Republicans have become increasingly comfortable with the January 6 attack on the Capitol, and a steady majority have long believed, incorrectly, that Joe Biden only won because of voter fraud, even as Trump faces federal criminal charges over efforts to overturn the 2020 election. The party is also increasingly isolationist: A clear majority of Republican voters willing to vote for Trump oppose aid to Ukraine, according to a July New York Times/Siena poll, while nearly 70 percent of those Republicans who are unwilling to back the former president support aid. There is a similar divide on other long-standing fissures within the GOP, as Trump voters oppose same-sex marriage and comprehensive immigration reform, while those opposed to the former president support both.
…The endurance of Never Trump Republicans means that a not insignificant number of George W. Bush and Mitt Romney voters, from pundits on down to suburban parents, are now part of the Democratic base and participating in party primaries. One can even read Never Trump websites like The Bulwark and see articles urging the Democrats to restrain the most left-wing segment of their base, lest they alienate swing voters and empower the GOP. When asked where he was politically, Bill Kristol told TNR, “I’m pretty comfortable with the current Democratic Party. [Fellow Never Trumpers] are not comfortable with the current Republican Party. We don’t think the hopes for its immediate reformation are very realistic. We are OK with Biden. We think, in fact, one thing we could do is strengthen the moderate Democratic Party.”
Moderate is a relative term. To the extent they have been assimilated, Republicans who have flipped to the Democrats in the Trump era are not glaring outliers within their new party, like Joe Manchin or Krysten Sinema. Matt Bennett, the executive vice president of the moderate Democratic think tank Third Way, argued this influx had not “fundamentally changed the Democratic Party,” noting, instead, that when Republicans “have decided to vote for Democrats, they prefer moderates.” In Bennett’s view, most of the Democratic electorate has shared those preferences, as shown by Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential primary. “I am not convinced that they’re gonna be yanking the party to the right, because I think that they are fairly comfortable with that kind of Biden-level ideology,” he said. “And that’s where the center of the party is.”
Perhaps the most prominent defector from the GOP in the past few years to run for office was Barbara Bollier, a moderate Republican state legislator from Kansas who switched parties in 2018 and became the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in the Jayhawk State in 2020. She had been contemplating the move for a while before Kansas elected Democrat Laura Kelly, whom she endorsed, as governor in 2018. In fact, Bollier said, she’d held off on formally making the change to maximize the political impact of her backing Kelly, finally taking the plunge “because it was untenable both at the national level and at the state level” for her stay within the GOP.
As a pro-choice woman, Bollier feels that being a Republican had never been a perfect fit. As she put it, “I lived with the Republican Party’s … anti-abortion politics my whole life. And I was able just to move beyond, because to me, that should not be the only focus of government. In fact, government shouldn’t be involved, other than to safely regulate all health care. So that wasn’t enough of a driving factor. It was the other things, and particularly the whole movement towards fascism.” In other words, she’s not a right-winger, and has largely been at home in her new party.
Still, large-scale shifts from one major party to another tend to produce conflict, particularly among those who are older. Kristol, who has endured some criticism on the left in the course of his party change, recalled the neoconservatives of his parents’ generation facing friction as they left the Democratic fold. “I think people forget, but it was still awkward. There was resentment against ... older versions of me,” he said. Kristol cited as an example the efforts by some Republicans in the early 1980s to block neoconservative Bill Bennett’s appointment to the National Endowment for the Humanities.
But this conflict dies away in time, as people age and identities harden. There aren’t many new Never Trumpers registering to vote as Republicans in 2023. If Trump becomes the nominee in 2024, the youngest voter who would have had the opportunity to cast a ballot for any other Republican presidential nominee will be 30. Many of the prominent Republicans who are symbolic of a different GOP— and refused to vote for Trump in 2016, like George H.W. Bush and John McCain— will have been long dead, and almost all who have remained active in Republican politics will have bent the knee in some form.
As Bollier reminisced about knocking on doors in the district she represented in suburban Kansas City, she emphasized that generational changing of the guard. “What was fascinating to me were households where the parents were Republicans many times and would claim they were moderates, and none of their children remained Republicans,” she said. “It was so overwhelmingly obvious that the demise was coming. Northeast Johnson County, which used to always be a moderate Republican bastion, is now all Democratic.”
In fact, if there has been any major impact on internal party dynamics because of Never Trumpers switching, it is almost certainly within the GOP, where it has culled some comparatively moderate and more establishment-oriented voters. The number is not huge: According to Vanderbilt University political scientist John Sides’s survey data from the Voter Study Group, a long-term research project of political trends, only around 5 percent of self-reported Romney voters said they voted for Clinton in 2016. Allen was skeptical that it would have a tremendous effect, but the conservative pollster suggested “the average Republican nominee in the average race will be slightly more populist than it would have been in 2012.” The result would be “slightly more J.D. Vance–like nominees than Youngkin/Romney nominees,” but it wouldn’t be a drastic shift, he said. Still, Trump has radicalized those Republicans who have stuck it out in the party; Longwell noted that focus groups she’s conducted indicate those who have remained within the GOP have identified as increasingly conservative and look askance at the Republican Party of the past. These voters “don’t want to go back to the Bush years. They want the Make America Great Again iteration of the Republican Party, even if they have been Republicans for a long time,” she said.
Political realignments are fragile, circumstantial things. They don’t happen in sudden lightning bolts that strike every 30 years, but instead involve both the mixture of broad demographic and economic forces and very specific circumstances that produce presidential nominees in American politics. Although there is a school of political science that highlights a handful of presidential elections as marking sharp, long-term changes in party coalitions—including 1800, 1860, and 1932—Daniel Schlozman, a professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University, argues realignment is a constant process as the points of conflict between the two parties change. The movement of white voters in the South toward the Republican Party might have been accelerated if Jimmy Carter wasn’t the Democratic nominee in 1976. Then again, without Carter as the nominee, the neoconservatives who broke away from the Democrats might have stayed in the fold.
Just like those realignments in the past, the emergence of Never Trumpers is the product of both long-term trends and candidate-specific quirks; the trend of educational polarization slowed or accelerated depending on which candidates were on the ballot. In 2012, the GOP nominated a candidate in Mitt Romney who overperformed among the college-educated white voters in the suburbs who have turned on Trump. Some of these voters would have likely started shifting toward Democrats earlier if, instead, the Republican nominee was Rick Santorum, whose 2014 book was titled Blue Collar Conservatives. With Trump, the long-term trends and the candidate-specific quirks collided.
But the difference with Trump is that his massive influence on American political coalitions is largely based on whether voters thrill to his transgressions or are appalled by his grotesqueries. Even now, it’s sometimes difficult to discern whether it is his personality itself or the worldview that Trump embodies that has driven some Republicans out of the party. As Schlozman put it, if you “take a dozen people in Atlanta who voted for Mitt Romney, what they think of Donald Trump determines how they’re voting now in a very important way,” but “what explains their views about Donald Trump?”
What’s clearer is that relatively few voters were swayed by his policy accomplishments, like a generic GOP tax cut bill or his administration’s oversight of Operation Warp Speed (which Trump alternately celebrated or shied away from). Instead, it’s the loaded rhetoric that he has brought to American politics on topics ranging from building a physical wall on the border with Mexico to his repeated false claims of election fraud. In contrast, past realignments have rested on far more robust legislative feats. The Democratic majorities of the Roosevelt era were founded on support for or opposition to the programs of the New Deal. The shift in the South starting in the 1960s was based on reaction to the landmark civil rights laws of the Johnson administration. With Trump, it’s often simply been the man himself and the forces he has unleashed. The result has smoothed the transition of these former Republicans into the Democratic fold.
It’s impossible to predict the next lasting fault line in American politics. As Schlozman noted, modern political parties rest on a layer of intersecting cleavages going back to the Civil War, and each new alignment leads to new coalitions and new points of contention. But if Trump remains the dominant figure on the GOP scene for yet another election cycle, the voters who fled the Republican Party aren’t likely to return. And even if he does somehow fade into the background, those same voters may find the party they once called their own virtually unrecognizable.
This morning, Mike Lawler-- who's positioning himself as the anti-Gaetz-- was a guest on Hugh Hewitt's radio show. He said that "McCarthy brought to the conference with the help of Byron Donalds and Chip Roy and Scott Perry and Dusty Johnson, Stephanie Bice, and Kelly Armstrong a conservative CR that would extend government funding for 30 days while reducing it by 8% and pass HR 2 again, and move it over to the Senate so that we could negotiate on something to actually attack the border while reducing spending. These folks said no. They refused, because in some bizarro land that they live in, no, we don’t need to fund the government in the short term. We can shut it down, and that’ll strengthen our hand, even though we only control one-half of one-third. So it really makes no sense. They now are demanding that we pass four appropriations bills at once, and then maybe start handling a few others, and then maybe handle a few others after that, and then maybe they would consider a CR. I didn’t come here to shut the government down or play stupid games so we could raise $5 dollar donations by claiming we’re doing something and sticking it to the administration, when in fact all they would be doing is screwing the American people. You’re not saving money in a shutdown. In fact, it’s going to cost more money in a shutdown. And at the end of the day, they’re weakening our hand and the Speaker’s hand to negotiate... I’ve sat through hours of meetings and negotiations with these folks over the last 72 hours. And they continually move the goalposts. As I’ve said, they don’t know how to take yes for an answer. They don’t know how to define a win. They don’t know how to work as a team. And so ultimately, we’re left in a position where responsible people need to be the adults in the room. There are at least five of us, which is all that is needed, to sign a discharge petition, which would allow a bill to come to the floor for a vote. The Democrats have 213 signatures on a previously signed discharge during the debt ceiling negotiations. It’s still live and active. And so if five of us sign it, it would begin the clock on ripening the discharge and allow a bill to come forward. The question is what would that bill be? I am part of the Problem Solvers Caucus, 32 Republicans, 32 Democrats. We have been working on a framework that would be the basis for a bipartisan CR that would extend government funding for three months while we work through the appropriations process. It would provide Ukraine funding. It would provide disaster relief. And it would have Remain In Mexico policies implemented as part of the agreement. And so that is something that I think as we’re dealing with this border crisis, is critically important that we get a win on the border. And my colleagues had an opportunity here with the CR that the Speaker put forth, and rejected it because they don’t want to vote for a CR. It’s illogical, and it weakens our hand at the negotiating table."