President Biden on Friday appeared to tout negotiations between his administration with the Senate to address the crisis on the southern border despite House Speaker Mike Johnson saying such legislation would be “dead on arrival” in his chamber.
In a statement released by the White House, Biden urged Congress to support a bipartisan package that would tie border security measures with aid to Ukraine. He said the terms negotiated with senators would be the “toughest and fairest” set of reforms ever to secure the border.
“It would give me, as President, a new emergency authority to shut down the border when it becomes overwhelmed,” he said. “And if given that authority, I would use it the day I sign the bill into law.”
Hours earlier, Johnson wrote a letter to his colleagues in the Senate signaling the legislation addressing the border and aid to Ukraine has no future in the House if Republicans there feel it doesn’t do enough to address the records numbers of illegal immigrants crossing into the United States.
“I wanted to provide a brief update regarding the supplemental and the border, since the Senate appears unable to reach any agreement. If rumors about the contents of the draft proposal are true, it would have been dead on arrival in the House anyway,” Johnson wrote.
“I am emphasizing again today that House Republicans will vigorously oppose any new policy proposal from the White House or Senate that would further incentivize illegal aliens to break our laws,” he added.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers has been trying to secure a deal for months with White House officials to unlock $60 billion of aid to assist Ukraine’s war with Russia that’s included in the national security supplemental bill. The Department of Defense has already depleted its available funds earmarked for Ukraine without needing approval from Congress.
The Biden administration is seeking over $100 billion in funding, including $14 billion for the border. But Republicans have demanded limits on migrant releases into the interior, including the use of parole, and negotiators have been attempting to find a compromise.
In the White House statement, Biden urged lawmakers to provide funding to aid Ukraine that was requested in October, which would include funds for an additional 1,300 U.S. Border Patrol agents, 375 immigration judges, 1,600 asylum officers and more than 100 inspection machines to help prevent the smuggling of fentanyl into the United States.
“For everyone demanding tougher border control, this is the way to do it,” Biden said. “If you’re serious about the border crisis, pass a bipartisan bill and I will sign it.”
Fox News Digital’s Jamie Joseph, Tyler Olson and Aishah Hasnie contributed to this report.
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