Mike Johnson Faces Criticism for Blocking Border Funding

On Wednesday, Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson faced Jake Tapper of CNN in a heated discussion about Republican refusal to work with Democrats on immigration policy. Johnson’s dismissal of the billions Biden has attempted to provide to border patrol forces drew fierce criticism from both Tapper and users online.

The request

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President Biden requested a comprehensive foreign aid package in October, including $14 billion for Israel and $60 billion for Ukraine. To sweeten the deal for Republicans, he also included $14 billion for ramping up security along the US-Mexico border.


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However, including all these things in a single bill has caused controversy on both sides. Progressives are angry at Biden’s rightward drift on the border and continued support for Israel despite its actions being described by many experts as genocide. Conservatives have criticized the bill for providing too much to foreign countries.

Keep things separate

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Conservatives like Mike Johnson are also unhappy that border funding is included in a broader package. They accuse the policies of not going far enough to deal with the increasing numbers of migrants being apprehended at the border.

The debate

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The debate between Tapper and Johnson started with the former asking the House speaker why he wasn’t supporting Biden’s $14 billion border funding. The money would enable the Department of Homeland Security, among other border agencies, to increase capacity and deal with the rising number of migrants.

No good

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“That won’t help,” Johnson claimed. “That won’t do a darn thing.”


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“I’m sure the border patrol agents that you’re with think it might do something in terms of making their job a little easier,” Tapper responded.


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“No, no, actually, they don’t,” Johnson insisted. “They don’t want the $14 billion?” Tapper asked again.

Johnson insists

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“It’s about changing the policy,” Johnson said. “The White House seems not to understand that.”


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Johnson was speaking to Tapper from the border. He and a group of Republican legislators had traveled there to promote their hard-line proposals for increasing border security.

Strict demands

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Johnson and other Republicans have insisted on policies like those passed by the Republican-led House in May in a piece of legislation called H.R.2. It would resume construction on hundreds of miles of border wall, increasing the number of border patrol agents and restricting the use of parole programs to allow nationals from certain countries to work in the U.S. temporarily.


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“If President Biden wants a supplemental spending bill focused on national security, it better begin by defending America’s national security,” Johnson said in a speech from the border. “It begins right here on our Southern border.”

False start

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However, Biden has said he would veto H.R.2 should the legislation make it through the Senate. A White House spokesperson fired back at Johnson’s remarks, noting that the Speaker “is continuing to block President Biden’s proposed funding to hire thousands of new Border Patrol agents, hire more asylum officers and immigration judges, provide local communities hosting migrants additional grant funding, and invest in cutting edge technology that is critical to stopping deadly fentanyl from entering our country.”


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Johnson told Tapper that he thought the only solution was completely halting migrants crossing the border. However, as Tapper noted, “Even President Trump couldn’t turn the faucet off. It’s the presidency … not a magician.”

The internet weighs in

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“Republicans are not interested in solving any problems at the border,” said one user on X. “If they fix the border problems before the 2024 election, what else do they have to fearmonger their base?”

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