House Republicans Stand Behind H.R.2
It remains unclear whether the bipartisan Senate group collaborating with the White House on a border security deal will yield any results. Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., has made it clear that House Republicans support H.R.2, the border bill they passed last summer. However, Democrats have dismissed it as a “non-starter.” Some GOP hardliners in both the House and Senate have signaled their opposition to anything less than H.R. 2, which includes provisions like Remain In Mexico and new border wall construction.
H.R.2 Seen as a Starting Point
Despite the support for H.R.2 among House Republicans, Representative Emmer advised his colleagues to view it as a starting point rather than the only option. Recognizing that they control only one-half of one-third of the government, Emmer emphasized the need to be realistic about their ability to achieve everything they want. He stated, “But that’s where we start. We start with H.R. 2, and then show us what you got, and we’ll figure it out from there.”
Optimism and Opposition
When asked about his optimism regarding the passage of a border security compromise in both the GOP-controlled House and Democrat-controlled Senate, Emmer expressed that he was “always hopeful.” However, he cautioned that leaked details of the proposal may face opposition. Republicans, in particular, have expressed concern about a reported suggestion to grant border agents the authority to expel migrants on sight. Emmer stated, “If this administration and the Senate think that even one illegal coming across the southern border makes sense, you’re not going to get agreement from our guys. If those rumors are accurate, well, it’s going to be really hard for them to pass the House.”
Border Crisis as a Political Issue
While Emmer appreciated the discussion on the border crisis, he accused President Biden of only paying attention to it as an election-year issue. He stated, “The only reason they’re talking about it now is because it has risen to the point that it is a political liability for their re-election.” Emmer emphasized that the border issue transcends party lines, with over 60% of citizens in the country, according to some polls, recognizing it as a problem that needs to be solved.