Speaker Johnson speaks out against Senate border deal

 February 1, 2024

House Speaker Mike Johnson conveyed to House Republicans in a closed-door meeting that the Senate's bipartisan immigration deal faces insurmountable obstacles.

Lawmakers exiting the session reported that Johnson made it clear the immigration deal was "absolutely dead."

The situation

The development dealt a blow to a significant national security package intended to facilitate crucial aid to Ukraine, with former President Donald Trump advocating for Republicans to reject it.

House Republicans aligned with Johnson expressed satisfaction with the declaration, emphasizing that, as it stands, there is no viable path forward for the immigration deal.

Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia stated that Johnson unequivocally stated its demise, underscoring the lack of progress.

Trump's opposes

Trump has been urging Congress to oppose the border deal, framing it as a response to the escalating chaos at the border.

Critics argue that Trump aims to preserve a potent campaign issue and prevent President Joe Biden from achieving a legislative win. Johnson, when questioned about the potential influence of Trump on this decision, denied pushing to kill the deal for campaign-related reasons.

He clarified that he had discussed the matter extensively with Trump, asserting the former president's commitment to securing the country.

The House plan

The House GOP's move to thwart the Senate border deal puts aid to Ukraine at risk during a critical juncture in its conflict with Russia.

The escalating attacks from House Republicans align with Trump's opposition, creating a stark division between House and Senate Republicans. Negotiators in the Senate have agreed on measures empowering the U.S. to restrict illegal migrant crossings at the southern border.

President Biden, endorsing the Senate deal, called it the "toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border." However, House Republicans, dismissing the agreement, insist on a more stringent border security legislation akin to HR 2, a conservative immigration bill unlikely to gain traction in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

The intensifying critiques from House Republicans and Trump's opposition create a challenging scenario, highlighting the deep divide between House and Senate Republicans. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, emphasizing the importance of aiding Ukraine, faces internal debates on whether to proceed with the bipartisan border deal or pursue a separate bill containing funds for Ukraine and Israel.

The House Republicans' rejection of the Senate deal adds complexity to negotiations, showing the seriousness of the situation regarding the border and its impact on national security.

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