Senate negotiators are close to reaching an agreement on a bipartisan border deal that would aim to address the ongoing crisis at the southern border. However, House Speaker Mike Johnson has already declared the deal a “nonstarter” in the House. Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana, has expressed concerns that the deal does not go far enough in securing the border, stating that it would be a failure to whitewash the ongoing catastrophe.
Johnson’s stance is in line with fellow House Republicans, who have also come out against the deal. Former President Donald Trump has also weighed in, encouraging Republicans to reject the deal. Johnson, who has had conversations with Trump about this issue, refutes any claims that he is trying to kill the bill to give Trump a win for his campaign, calling them “absurd.”
“From what we’ve seen, clearly, what’s been suggested in this bill is not enough to secure the border,” Johnson stated. “And we have to insist — we have a responsibility, a duty, to the American people to insist that the border catastrophe is ended. And just trying to whitewash that or do something for political purposes — that it appears that may be — is not going to cut it and that’s a nonstarter in the House.”
During a closed-door meeting with his conference last week, Johnson assured House Republicans that the deal would be “dead on arrival” in the House. This could potentially jeopardize aid packages for countries like Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan that are included in the national security spending bill. Rep. Byron Donalds, a Republican from Florida, has criticized the deal, calling it a “bad deal” and accusing it of giving cover to President Joe Biden’s “terrible policies” on the border.
While Senate Republicans continue to work on the deal with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, House Republicans are taking a different approach. The House Homeland Security Committee, led by Chairman Mark Green, has brought two articles of impeachment against Mayorkas, arguing that he has demonstrated “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law” and a “breach of public trust.”
Green also notes that the Committee has focused on other issues, not just the border crisis, indicating that Republicans are actively working to address the issue. However, Democrats like Rep. Rob Menendez have accused Republicans of being “obsessed” with the border crisis because they “bend the knee to the orange Jesus,” presumably referring to Trump.
Rep. Rob Menendez (D) screams at Republicans on the Homeland Security Committee for being “obsessed” with the border crisis because the GOP “bend the knee to the orange Jesus…”
Chairman Mark Green (R) notes the Committee has focused on other subjects. pic.twitter.com/Q1qOAsk3Yk
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) January 31, 2024
In response to the ongoing crisis at the border, President Biden told reporters that he has “done all he can do” and that he would be willing to “shut down” the border if given new emergency authority through the proposed deal. Biden also turned up the pressure on Republicans, challenging them to work towards a compromise and provide him with the necessary resources and personnel to handle the crisis effectively.
Overall, the debate over the proposed border deal highlights the deep divide between Republicans and Democrats on how to address the ongoing crisis at the southern border. Johnson and his Republican colleagues continue to push for stronger measures to secure the border, while Democrats like Biden argue that they have exhausted all of their options and need Republican support to effectively address the issue. As negotiations continue, both sides will need to find common ground to address the pressing concerns at the southern border.