House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., is taking a hardline stance against the Senate’s bipartisan $118 billion border security and foreign aid package, calling it “dead on arrival” in the lower chamber. In a statement released Sunday night, Johnson criticized the proposed legislation, stating that it is “even worse than we expected” and will not be considered for a vote in the House.
The bill, negotiated by a small group of senators over the past few months, includes $20 billion for border security and $60 billion for foreign aid. Johnson, who oversees the schedule in the House, declared that the bill would not even receive a vote if it reached the lower chamber.
“The proposed bill is a slap in the face to the American people, who are tired of the ongoing crisis at our Southern border,” Johnson wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “It does not come close to addressing the catastrophic situation that President Biden has created.”
I’ve seen enough. This bill is even worse than we expected, and won’t come close to ending the border catastrophe the President has created. As the lead Democrat negotiator proclaimed: Under this legislation, “the border never closes.”
If this bill reaches the House, it will be…
— Speaker Mike Johnson (@SpeakerJohnson) February 5, 2024
Johnson also took issue with the foreign aid portion of the agreement, which includes $60 billion for Ukraine, $14.1 billion for Israel, and aid for Indo-Pacific allies. He suggested that this funding should be put into a standalone bill and voted on separately.
“I will introduce a bill on the House floor next week to allocate $17.6 billion in emergency funding for our strong ally, Israel,” Johnson declared. “But if this bill reaches the House, it will be dead on arrival.”
The speaker’s strong opposition to the bill echoes comments he made before the text of the agreement was released Sunday night. “If rumors about the contents of the draft proposal are true, it would have been dead on arrival in the House anyway,” Johnson wrote to House Republicans last month.
Others in the GOP are also skeptical of the bipartisan deal, with House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., stating that the Senate bill will not receive a vote in the House. “Let me be clear: The Senate Border Bill will NOT receive a vote in the House,” Scalise wrote on X. “Here’s what the people pushing this ‘deal’ aren’t telling you: It accepts 5,000 illegal immigrants a day and gives automatic work permits to asylum recipients — a magnet for more illegal immigration.”
Let me be clear: The Senate Border Bill will NOT receive a vote in the House.
Here’s what the people pushing this “deal” aren’t telling you: It accepts 5,000 illegal immigrants a day and gives automatic work permits to asylum recipients—a magnet for more illegal immigration.
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) February 5, 2024
Former President Donald Trump, on his social media platform Truth Social, also weighed in on the issue, urging GOP lawmakers not to support the border deal unless they receive “EVERYTHING needed to shut down the INVASION of Millions & Millions of people.”
In recent weeks, as negotiations were nearing a resolution, Republicans became increasingly skeptical of the bipartisan talks. Some argued that President Biden already has the resources to address the situation at the border and does not need new legislation. Others suggested that they do not want to give Biden a political win in an election year.
And there it is… what Sinema and Lankford swore wasn’t in the bill.
It guarantees that up to 1.8 million illegal aliens can come over our border before it’s an emergency pic.twitter.com/i05pNH29YV
— Ryan James Girdusky (@RyanGirdusky) February 5, 2024
Republican Sen. James Lankford, lead GOP negotiator on the border deal, responded to Johnson’s comments, saying that he was confused about how the bill could be worse than House Republicans expected. “I’m a little confused how it’s worse than they expected when it builds [the] border wall, expands deportation flights, expands ICE officers, border patrol officers, detention beds, and creates a faster process for deportations,” Lankford told reporters.
Despite the pushback from House Republicans, Lankford maintains that the bill focuses on securing the border and stopping the chaos. “The claim that the bill would allow 5,000 illegal crossings per day is the most misunderstood section of this proposal,” he stated during a Jan. 28 appearance on “Fox News Sunday.” “It would be absolutely absurd for me to agree to 5,000 people a day. This bill focuses on getting us to zero illegal crossings a day.”