Sunday, January 28, 2024

Biden Begs Congress to Pass Border Bill: ‘Toughest and fairest set of reforms’; Biden Urges Congress to Embrace Border Bill. But House Speaker Suggests It May Be ‘dead on arrival’

Biden begs Congress to pass border bill: ‘Toughest and fairest set of reforms’:
President Biden urged lawmakers on Friday to move forward with a contentious proposal to combat record levels of illegal border crossings under his administration, calling it the “toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border we’ve ever had in our country.”
The deal tying $61.4 billion in aid to Ukraine with increased border security measures is seemingly dead on arrival in the Senate – and is staunchly opposed by several congressional Republicans – despite months of negotiations between the White House and a bipartisan group of senators.
“For too long, we all know the border’s been broken,” Biden, 81, acknowledged in a statement. “It’s long past time to fix it.”
“Let’s be clear. What’s been negotiated would – if passed into law – be the toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border we’ve ever had in our country,” the president argued.
The text of the already languishing bill has yet to be revealed, but the president teased details of what’s been agreed to in his pleading letter.
“It would give me, as President, a new emergency authority to shut down the border when it becomes overwhelmed. And if given that authority, I would use it the day I sign the bill into law,” Biden said.
“Further, Congress needs to finally provide the funding I requested in October to secure the border. This includes an additional 1,300 border patrol agents, 375 immigration judges, 1,600 asylum officers, and over 100 cutting-edge inspection machines to help detect and stop fentanyl at our southwest border.” --->READ MORE HERE
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File
Biden urges Congress to embrace border bill. But House speaker suggests it may be ‘dead on arrival’:
President Joe Biden on Friday pressed Congress to embrace a bipartisan Senate deal to pair border enforcement measures with Ukraine aid, but House Speaker Mike Johnson suggested the compromise on border and immigration policy could be “dead on arrival” in his chamber.
The Democratic president said in a statement late Friday that the policies proposed would “be the toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border we’ve ever had in our country.” He also pledged to use a new emergency authority to “shut down the border” as soon as he could sign it into law.
Biden’s embrace of the deal — and Republican resistance — could become an election-year shift on the politics of immigration. Yet the diminishing prospects for its passage in Congress may have far-reaching consequences for U.S. allies around the globe, especially Ukraine.
Senate Republicans had initially insisted that border policy changes be included in Biden’s $110 billion emergency request for funding for Ukraine, Israel, immigration enforcement and other national security needs. But the Senate deal faced collapse this week as it came under fire from Republicans, including Donald Trump, the likely presidential nominee, who eviscerated the deal as a political “gift” to Democrats.
Johnson, a Louisiana Republican, on Friday sent a letter to colleagues that aligns him with hardline conservatives determined to sink the compromise. The speaker said the legislation would have been “dead on arrival in the House” if leaked reports about it were true.
A core group of senators negotiating the deal were hoping to release text early next week, but conservatives already say the measures do not go far enough to limit immigration. The proposal would enact tougher standards on migrants seeking asylum as well as deny asylum applications at the border if daily migrant encounters grow to numbers that are unmanageable for authorities.
“Rather than accept accountability, President Biden is now trying to blame Congress for what HE himself intentionally created,” Johnson said in the letter.
The speaker’s message added to the headwinds facing the Senate deal, closing a week in which Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged to his colleagues that the legislation faced tough opposition from Trump that could force them to pursue Ukraine aid another way. He later clarified that he was still supportive of pairing border measures with Ukraine aid. --->READ MORE HERE
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