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Speaker Johnson Demands 'Transformative' Border Security In Exchange For Future Ukraine Aid

'It is well past time for the Administration to meaningfully engage with us'

Speaker Johnson Demands 'Transformative' Border Security In Exchange For Future Ukraine Aid

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson sent a letter to the White House asking for "transformative" border security reforms in exchange for further aid for Ukraine.

The Tuesday letter, penned to Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young, demands the “enactment of transformative change to our nation’s border security laws."

The Speaker noted the House had passed the Israel Security Supplemental Appropriations Act on Nov. 2, which reallocated funds set aside by the Biden administration to expand the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to provide aid to Israel in the wake of the attack on the Jewish state by Islamic militant group, Hamas. The bill was unanimously rejected by Senate Democrats.

Johnson also referenced the House Republican position on Ukraine funding, which he previously articulated to Young along with National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and other key leaders on Oct. 26, requiring border security and "critical answers" for future aid to Ukraine.

"First, I explained that supplemental Ukraine funding is dependent upon enactment of transformative change to our nation's border security laws," Johnson wrote and referenced the Secure the Border Act of 2023. "Senate Democrats have refused to act on that bill."

Per Johnson, future aid to Ukraine requires the Biden administration’s “strategy to prevail” in Ukraine, along with “clearly defined and obtainable objectives” with “transparency and accountability for U.S. taxpayer dollars” and “specific resources [that] are required to achieve victory and a sustainable peace.”

"I reiterate that President Biden must satisfy Congressional oversight inquiries about the Administration's failure thus far to present clearly defined objectives, and its failure to provide essential weapons on a timely basis," he wrote. "American taxpayers deserve a full accounting of how prior U.S. military and humanitarian aid has been spent, and an explanation of the president's strategy to ensure an accelerated path to victory."

Johnson said it is Congress' duty to demand answers amid the current state of the U.S. economy and the "massive amount" of national debt.

"With regard to the U.S. border, the need to regain operational control has never been more urgent and the American people deserve immediate action," Johnson continued, referencing an Aug. 10 letter from Young requesting "supplemental" appropriations. "In your previous letter ... you acknowledged our country has a 'fundamentally broken [immigration] system,' and you described the existence of child exploitation, an 'influx of illicit drugs' pouring across our borders, and the destructive impact of all this on public health."

Johnson noted Young's letter "strangely suggested" the Biden administration's plan was "working as intended.

"The open U.S. border is an unconscionable and unsustainable catastrophe, and we have a moral responsibility to insist this madness stops immediately," he continued. "Rather than engaging with Congressional Republicans to discuss logical reforms, the Biden Administration has ignored realty, choosing instead to engage in political posturing."

"We stand ready and willing to work with the Administration on a robust border security package that protects the interests of the American people," Johnson concluded. "It is well past time for the Administration to meaningfully engage with us."

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