President Joe Biden is urging Congress to support a bipartisan Senate deal that combines border enforcement measures with aid for Ukraine. However, House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican, has signaled that the compromise on border and immigration policy may face resistance in the House.
In a statement on Friday, President Biden lauded the proposed policies as “the toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border we’ve ever had in our country.” He committed to using emergency authority to “shut down the border” once the legislation is signed into law.
While Biden’s endorsement signals a potential shift in the politics of immigration in an election year, the compromise’s fate in Congress is uncertain. House Speaker Johnson expressed skepticism, stating in a letter to colleagues that the legislation could be “dead on arrival in the House” based on leaked reports.
The Senate deal, initially demanding border policy changes in Biden’s $110 billion emergency request for Ukraine, Israel, and national security, faced criticism from Republicans, including former President Donald Trump. Trump labeled the deal a political “gift” to Democrats.
Johnson’s letter aligns him with hardline conservatives opposing the compromise. He accused Biden of attempting to blame Congress for problems intentionally created by the president. The proposed measures include stricter standards on asylum seekers and the denial of asylum applications at the border under certain conditions.
The Senate deal’s core negotiators aimed to release the text early next week, but conservative critics argue that the measures do not go far enough in limiting immigration. If the deal collapses, it could hinder Congress’s ability to approve funds for Ukraine, impacting U.S. allies globally.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged tough opposition from Trump, hinting at alternative ways to pursue Ukraine aid. The impasse raises concerns about leaving Ukrainian soldiers without essential support on the battlefield.
While the lead GOP negotiator, Sen. James Lankford, urged lawmakers to withhold judgment until receiving the legislative text, Speaker Johnson’s alignment with hardline conservatives adds to the challenges facing the Senate deal.
As the political landscape intensifies, Biden’s push for the compromise underscores the urgency to address border security and provide crucial aid to Ukraine, a top priority for his administration. However, the path forward remains uncertain amid growing resistance from conservative quarters.