White House Press Secretary Calls Out Speaker Johnson’s Change of Position
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre criticized Speaker Johnson for his change of stance on border security. She pointed out that Johnson had previously advocated for HR2, a border security bill that Democrats have deemed a nonstarter. Jean-Pierre emphasized that President Biden, as well as Republicans and Democrats in Congress, believe in the urgent need to act on the border.
Johnson’s Spokesman Defends Speaker’s Consistency on National Security
In response, Johnson’s spokesman Raj Shah defended the Speaker’s consistency on the issue of national security. Shah stated that Johnson firmly believes national security begins at the border and supports the Secure the Border Act or similar legislation. He criticized President Biden for failing to take immediate action to secure the border, despite his promise to “shut down the border.”
Biden’s False Claim and Johnson’s Letter
Johnson called out President Biden for falsely claiming that he needs new legislation to close the southern border. The Speaker had previously written a letter to Biden, urging him to take executive action on the border. Johnson outlined several actions the President could take, including ending catch-and-release, reinstating the Remain in Mexico program, and renewing border wall construction.
Both Sides Point to Past Statements and Negotiations
Jean-Pierre highlighted past comments by former President Trump, who called on Democrats to pass border and immigration reforms and address “loopholes” in the system. She also mentioned ongoing negotiations between a bipartisan group of senators and the Biden administration to address the migrant crisis. Republicans in the House and Senate have emphasized the importance of these reforms in their support for the Democrats’ supplemental funding request.