House Speaker Mike Johnson doubled down Monday evening on his declaration that a foreign aid and border security package negotiated in the Senate was “dead on arrival.”

Negotiators released the text of the legislation Sunday evening after weeks of talks between Republican Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. House Republicans indicated the bill was dead on arrival Sunday evening.

“It did not take long to realize that this is dead on arrival,” Johnson told Fox News host Laura Ingraham. “There’s no way we could bring this through the House. The Senate expects us to pass a bill, a piece of legislation that you just did a great job dismantling here. What it would do is actually further incentivize illegal immigration. It would not resolve any of the problems, not reform in any meaningful way the broken asylum system, the broken parole process and all the things that have created this catastrophe.”

“The bill itself would actually do more harm than good and that’s why we have said it’s a nonstarter over here in the House,” Johnson added.


The legislation provides $60 billion in aid to Ukraine and another $14 billion to Israel, while allocating $20 billion for border security.

“The American people are running the show here. We are the representatives of our constituents,” Johnson told Ingraham. “The American people are on our side, they recognize this catastrophe has been disastrous for the country. Every state is a border state and everybody knows it.”

Johnson hit at President Joe Biden for threatening to veto a standalone aid bill for Israel.

“By the way, in the last half hour, President Biden came out and said that he would actually veto the legislation, the clean funding bill to help our ally Israel in its time of greatest need,” Johnson said. “Israel is at war, they are fighting for their very existence and the president has our troops in harm’s way now because of the deterrence effort against Iran. And he is suggesting that he would not send the funding to abandon our ally right now? That is outrageous.”

Johnson said that Biden already has authority to secure the border under current law.

“The president has the existing authority under the statutes and he ought to use it. He could suspend all entries into the country if he deems it to be in the nation’s interest,” Johnson said. “That’s exactly what the statute says. Section 212 of the immigration and nationality act. Everybody should Google it and read for themselves.”

Johnson reiterated that despite pushback from Lankford, who claimed opposition to the bill was fueled by “misinformation,” the legislation would go nowhere in the House of Representatives.

“When I said it’s dead on arrival,” Johnson added later. “I mean dead on arrival.”

Harold Hutchison on February 5, 2024

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