Brazile: Speaker Johnson ‘afraid’ of Trump saying no to border bill

Former Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile said Sunday she thinks Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) is afraid of embracing a deal on a border security package because Trump might then publicly oppose the legislation.

In a panel discussion on ABC News’s “This Week,” Brazile responded to Johnson’s Friday letter to colleagues, which said a border deal would be “dead on arrival” in the Republican-led House if reports about the terms of the deal were true.

“This speaker has a historic opportunity to get a really good, strong deal,” Brazile said, in response to Johnson’s letter. “You’re not going to get a deal if Democrats take control of the Congress next year, in terms of the House, and so why not? Go ahead and pass this bill.”

“The Senate has brokered this deal for over two months, they’ve been in negotiation. President Biden said he’s willing to sign it, but clearly what Speaker Johnson is afraid of, is the former president coming down hard and saying, ‘Don’t support it,’” she added.

Brazile said she thinks it would be a big mistake for Republicans to reject a border deal, which would, in theory, also include aid for Ukraine and other countries.

“So I think it’s a bad mistake by the Republicans not to take this deal. It’s a good deal. The border is an issue. We know it’s been broken for decades. Why not go ahead and support this deal,” Brazile said.

Top negotiators in the Senate have indicated they were optimistic about the prospects of the border deal, which had been in the works for weeks before Congress returned from their holiday break, but many House Republicans signaled they had little appetite for the deal, the terms of which have not been publicly confirmed.

Trump’s presence looms large over Congress, where his key allies have taken their cue off the 2024 GOP presidential front-runner. Trump has said the deal would not go far enough, and he’s also said to want to use the border as a key issue in campaigning against President Biden in November. A border deal would be seen as a political and policy win for Biden, for whom border security is seen as a weak issue among voters.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.