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White House: House GOP has to ‘choose’ between solving border issues and scoring political points

The White House on Friday said that House Republicans have to choose between finding a solution or scoring political points after Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) said in a letter to colleagues that the Senate border deal is “dead on arrival.”

“House Republicans, they have a choice to make. They have to choose whether they want to solve a problem, actually solve a problem like the Senate is trying to do in a bipartisan way. Or, get in the way and score political points,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.

Johnson’s letter, after former President Trump said the border package doesn’t go far enough, outlined that if reports are true about the deals’ terms, the Senate legislation addressing the border and aid to Ukraine and other countries would have been dead in the House.

When asked how President Biden is still optimistic about a border deal considering the politics of the situation, Jean-Pierre noted that it’s “a good thing” there are bipartisan talks in the Senate.

“There’s optimism because what we’ve seen in the Senate are Democrats and Republicans coming together to find an agreement,” Jean-Pierre said. “We feel that is an optimistic look on folks from both sides of the aisle coming together and having those negotiations, conversations, on real ways to fix the problem.”

“In the way that politics is today, the fact that we’re seeing that in the Senate, that’s a good thing,” she added. “House Republicans have to make the decision if they want to be part of the solution or part of the problem.”

In his letter, Johnson said the next major action coming from House Republicans will be the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who Johnson argued has “willfully ignored and actively undermined our nation’s immigration laws.” 

Jean-Pierre on Friday said it is “shameful” that House Republicans want to use their time to impeach Mayorkas when they should be working across the aisle to find a solution to border security.

Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are searching for an alternative plan on how to get aid to Ukraine done after support for the war-torn country was coupled with funding for the border by the White House.

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