House Speaker Mike Johnson will be visiting the US-Mexico border in Texas on Wednesday afternoon with a party of House Republicans. While there, he is expected to address questions from Jake Tapper of HEADLINESFOREVER.
It is still unknown what the speaker would do if the Senate reaches a deal, but Johnson’s visit to the border comes as senators attempt to negotiate a bipartisan border compromise as part of a larger financing package for Ukraine, aid to Israel, and border security.
As the GOP conference has criticised President Joe Biden and his administration over the border, Johnson travelled to Eagle Pass, Texas, with about sixty House Republicans. As reported by HEADLINESFOREVER on Wednesday, House Republicans are moving forward with plans to impeach Alejandro Mayorkas, the secretary of homeland security, for his role in the agency’s handling of the border crisis.
Republicans in the House want a border bill similar to HR2, which was passed by the House, but Democrats in the Senate have said that this is not going to happen.
Republicans have stated they will not support the Biden administration’s demand for more funding for Ukraine unless a border package is also part of the agreement, which has kept Senate deliberations on the subject going for weeks.
With a partial government shutdown just on the corner and the supplemental budget request to add more funds for the border, Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan on top of that, Congress will have a tough time finding adequate financing in the new year.
Upon being asked about the possibility of Johnson being more actively involved in the negotiations, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stated to reporters on Wednesday that he wanted the Senate to resolve the border issue foremost. The budget negotiations have involved him to a considerable degree. Regarding the border, Schumer stated, “We want to get the Senate to come to an agreement first.” This is because their stance has been that they will not budge from H.R. 2.
Prior to Johnson’s arrival, officials from the Biden administration expressed their optimism about the ongoing border negotiations in Congress, calling attention to the significant decline in crossings this week.
A senior administration official reported that daily arrests exceeded 10,000 in mid-December; but, on Monday, border officials saw approximately 2,500 migrants at the US southern border, a significant decrease. The Del Rio area, which had thousands of entries in late December, saw fewer than 500 migrants detained on Monday.
Border security is included in the $14 billion national security supplemental request by the White House, and Biden encouraged Congress to provide this spending on Tuesday.
“We need to take action. “They ought to give me the money I need to protect the border,” Biden remarked in response to a reporter’s question about his intended actions on the Southern border.