Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) on Sunday shot down a suggestion that former President Trump was exerting undue influence on decisions in the House about a potential border deal.
In an interview on NBC News’s “Meet the Press,” Kristen Welker asked Johnson whether Trump was “calling the shots here,” as the Speaker continued to insist that any border deal should be equivalent to H.R. 2 — a hard-line conservative border deal that stands little chance of making it to the president’s desk.
“Of course not. He’s not calling the shots. I am calling the shots for the House. That’s our responsibility. And I have been saying this far longer than President Trump has. I have been saying what the requirements are to fix the problem,” Johnson told Welker.
As lawmakers come close to reaching a bipartisan border deal in the Senate, some Republicans have begun insisting that President Biden has the power already to act via executive authority — despite the limited success that approach had during Trump’s time in the White House.
Trump, meanwhile, has publicly and privately discouraged Republicans from accepting a border deal, arguing it could benefit him ahead of the 2024 presidential election.
Johnson insisted, however, that Trump was not influencing his decisions and said he’s been consistent in his position.
“I don’t care if they call the legislation H.R. 2 or not. What we’re saying is you have to stem the flow. The president has executive authority right now. As Congress does this negotiation and the debate and the discussion, the president could stop it,” Johnson said.