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‘This bill is even worse than we expected’: House Speaker reacts to Senate immigration proposal

Written by on February 5, 2024

‘This bill is even worse than we expected’: House Speaker reacts to Senate immigration proposal
US House Speaker Mike Johnson speaks during a press conference after the Republican Conference meeting at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on January 17, 2024. — Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) — In a scathing new statement Sunday night, House Speaker Mike Johnson said the Senate bipartisan bill to overhaul the immigration system along with providing aid to Israel and Ukraine was dead on arrival if it makes it to the House.

“I’ve seen enough. This bill is even worse than we expected, and won’t come close to ending the border catastrophe the President has created. As the lead Democrat negotiator proclaimed: Under this legislation, “the border never closes.” If this bill reaches the House, it will be dead on arrival,” Johnson said in a statement on X, echoing comments he made before the bill’s release.

Johnson’s statement comes just hours after the text of the bill dropped. The Senate spent months working in a bipartisan manner to come to a deal on a national security supplemental plan.

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise said the legislation, which includes millions of dollars in new foreign aid and is the first major overhaul of the country’s immigration system in years, will not even receive a vote in the House.

“Let me be clear: The Senate Border Bill will NOT receive a vote in the House. Here’s what the people pushing this “deal” aren’t telling you: It accepts 5,000 illegal immigrants a day and gives automatic work permits to asylum recipients—a magnet for more illegal immigration,” Scalise said in a statement on X.

GOP Whip Tom Emmer of Minnesota is also against the Senate bill.

“I’ll say it again: Any deal from the Senate that explicitly allows for even ONE illegal crossing will be dead on arrival in the House. What we’ve seen is an insult to the American people who’ve been forced to bear the consequences of Democrats’ open-border policies,” Emmer said in a statement on X.

GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik of New York voiced strong objections to the bill in her post on X.

“This Joe Biden/Chuck Schumer Open Border Bill is an absolute non-starter and will further incentivize thousands of illegals to pour in across our borders daily,” Stefanik, a top ally of former President Donald Trump, said on X.

Rank-and-file House Republicans have been collectively voicing opposition to the Senate bill since the text was released earlier Sunday night.

“It took the Senate months to build a bill. I GUARANTEE it will take the House months to review EVERY line,” Rep. Tony Gonzalez (R-TX) said in a statement on X.

Over in the Senate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell endorsed the bipartisan bill, saying, “I am grateful to Senator Lankford for working tirelessly to ensure that supplemental national security legislation begins with direct and immediate solutions to the crisis at our southern border.”

“America’s sovereignty is being tested here at home, and our credibility is being tested by emboldened adversaries around the world. The challenges we face will not resolve themselves, nor will our adversaries wait for America to muster the resolve to meet them. The Senate must carefully consider the opportunity in front of us and prepare to act,” McConnell added.

Meanwhile, there is already some early opposition from Senate Democrats, including Alex Padilla of California. Padilla said the bipartisan deal “misses the mark” and amounts to “dismantling” the asylum system.

“The deal includes a new version of a failed Trump-era immigration policy that will cause more chaos at the border, not less,” Padilla said in a statement.

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