House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) criticized President Biden Saturday for what he believes to be an increased interest in securing the southern border, as lawmakers continue to battle over a Senate-backed border deal.
While negotiations have been ongoing for weeks, Emmer said the House still has not seen legislative text for the proposed bill. He also criticized the president for undoing border measures put in place under former President Trump and questioned his recent vow to provide more security.
“The only reason that President Biden is even interested in discussing this issue, Neil, is because it has now become a political liability for the White House,” Emmer said in an interview with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto.
“Show us the text,” he added later. “Let’s make sure that what we do on the southern border is a substantive fix. Not just words.”
His comments come after Biden vowed to shut down the border “when it becomes overwhelmed” — capped around 5,000 migrants a day, per reports of the proposed deal — if Congress passes a bipartisan border security bill.
“Let’s be clear,” Biden said in a statement Friday. “What’s been negotiated would — if passed into law — be the toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border we’ve ever had in our country.”
“It would give me, as President, a new emergency authority to shut down the border when it becomes overwhelmed,” he continued. “And if given that authority, I would use it the day I sign the bill into law.”
Emmer said if Biden doesn’t restore Trump-era policies such as “Remain in Mexico,” — where asylum seekers were required to wait in Mexico while their processing was complete — he isn’t optimistic that the votes would even be there to bring the deal to the floor for a vote.
House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) gave similar remarks in a Dear Colleague letter on Friday. He said the legislation on border security and Ukraine aid, if the proposed terms that have come out so far are accurate, would be “dead on arrival” in the House.
“I wanted to provide a brief update regarding the supplemental and the border, since the Senate appears unable to reach any agreement,” he wrote. “If rumors about the contents of the draft proposal are true, it would have been dead on arrival in the House anyway.”
The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirmed Friday that in December, there were a record high of 302,034 encounters at the southern border.