Washington, DC — House Republicans keep admitting their views that immigration and the border are a political issue to run on, rather than a policy issue to be resolved. The latest reminder, via Beltway outlet Punchbowl News:
“Speaker Mike Johnson and his leadership team gave the clearest signal yet that the emerging Senate deal on border security and immigration is DOA in the House. On a House GOP conference call Sunday night, Johnson said Congress can’t solve the crisis at the border until Donald Trump or another Republican is in the White House.
…Here’s what a frustrated Senate GOP aide told us late last night: ‘After congressional Republicans spent years elevating the border crisis, calling it an invasion and rightfully pushing for immediate action, the House Republican position is now basically ‘Let’s wait for Trump’ — even though he may not get elected and definitely couldn’t pass a border bill.’”
“Two things to note here. First, Johnson isn’t saying they won’t consider this bill. He’s saying they won’t consider any bill until Trump is elected. [PunchBowl reporter Jake] Sherman appears to have accepted the GOP wording — that ‘Congress can’t solve [the] border until Trump is elected.’ But there’s more here. Johnson is saying openly that they won’t pass any bill until Trump is elected. In other words, however out of control they claim the border is they want to keep it that way through November to use it as a political issue. There’s a bipartisan deal but House Republicans are rejecting it out of hand.”
Relatedly, Roll Call highlights that Speaker Johnson and House GOP colleagues are pushing to lower DHS funding amounts in the appropriations process – to the unnamed Senate GOP aide’s point, the same House Republicans elevating the supposed seriousness of the “border crisis” are seeking to slash funding for the agencies tasked with managing said “crisis.” Meanwhile, on a separate track, they are trying to decapitate the Department of Homeland Security by moving forward with a sham impeachment process targeting Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
The following is a statement from Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
“Stick a fork in the notion of a bipartisan immigration and border agreement this month or this year. House Republicans are making it clear that they are motivated by 2024 politics and not trying to seriously broker solutions that address migration and forge an orderly border.
While everyone agrees we need a change in the status quo, Republicans aren’t going to lift a finger to try and deliver needed funding and solutions on immigration and border policy, help U.S. cities or border communities, strengthen infrastructure or personnel at ports of entry or fund a functioning asylum system. Unfortunately, the GOP’s political motivations are holding hostage aid to Ukraine and needed resources to help our country address our migration challenges. But at least they’re now admitting the quiet part out loud, namely, that doing nothing is their goal. Democrats should heed the advice of Andrea Flores in her terrific New York Times op-ed and shouldn’t walk into a political trap that Republicans are creating. The policy proposals on the table will only worsen the border situation, so there is nothing to gain by making concessions to those uninterested in taking action.”