Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., spoke with President Biden about the southern border amid the worsening migrant crisis, the House Republican leader’s office said on Wednesday.
“Speaker Johnson spoke with President Biden today. The speaker strongly encouraged the president to use his executive authority to secure the southern border,” Johnson spokesman Raj Shah announced.
Shah said Johnson also reiterated topics discussed in a letter he sent Biden in late December similarly calling on him to act unilaterally on the border.
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It’s not immediately clear who initiated the call. Johnson’s office told Fox News Digital it had nothing more to add when asked.
Fox News Digital also reached out to the White House for comment on the conversation.
Johnson wrote to Biden at the time, “You have clearly undermined America’s sovereignty and security by ending the Remain in Mexico policy, reinstating catch-and-release, suspending asylum cooperative agreements with other nations, ignoring existing restraints on the abuse of parole, and halting border wall construction.”
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The speaker has made the border crisis a cornerstone of the House GOP majority’s priorities this year, leading a delegation of more than 60 lawmakers to Eagle Pass, Texas, earlier this month.
Their conversation comes just over a week before the first of two government funding deadlines. Congress must make a deal on how to avoid a partial government shutdown by Jan. 19, with another deadline coming on Feb. 2.
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It’s not clear if they discussed that topic or if the conversation was solely about the border.
Johnson and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced a deal aimed at avoiding a government shutdown on Sunday.
It would set discretionary government spending levels for the remainder of the fiscal year at $1.59 trillion, and include an added side deal of about $69 billion negotiated between ex-Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Biden in the spring.
Johnson’s deal would offset about $16 billion of that funding for this year.