Heritage Action Calls on Speaker Johnson to Prioritize Border Security

Heritage Action for America President Kevin Roberts called on House Speaker Mike Johnson to prioritize securing the border and reject additional spending for Ukraine without a “plan that defines the end goal in Ukraine,” in a letter released Tuesday.

A $106 billion supplemental spending bill proposed by the White House in October includes around $61 billion to help Ukraine, as well as funding for Israel, those affected by the war in Gaza, and border measures.

“We agree emphatically with Speaker [Mike] Johnson that the hill to die on … is border security,” said Heritage Action’s Roberts in a conference call with reporters Tuesday. “The House with a slim majority has already passed HR 2.” (Heritage Action for America is an independent, nonprofit organization affiliated with The Heritage Foundation, which is the parent organization of The Daily Signal.)

In the letter addressed to Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana, Roberts called HR 2 the “most significant border security legislation in American history.” He added:

The provisions of HR 2 are no more than what is required to regain control of the border and stem the deadly influx of terrorists, criminals, and drugs into this nation. The bill removes the four tools the Biden administration uses to achieve its open border agenda: asylum fraud, mass immigration parole, unaccompanied alien children, and [nongovernmental organization] money. Almost every Republican senator is on the record supporting HR 2. There is no good reason to pass a bill in the name of border security that falls short of its provisions.

Roberts also criticized the proposed border spending in the supplement package, writing that Biden’s “clear purpose is not to stop the worst border crisis in American history, but to speed the processing and release of illegal aliens into the United States and provide grants to sanctuary cities overwhelmed with the consequences of President [Joe] Biden’s decision to open the borders when he took office.”

The letters comes amid debate on Capitol Hill over Biden’s proposed supplemental package. On Monday, Shalanda Young, director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote to congressional leaders that funds for Ukraine were about to run out.

“We are out of money to support Ukraine in this fight. This isn’t a next-year problem. The time to help a democratic Ukraine fight against Russian aggression is right now. It is time for Congress to act,” Young wrote.

Roberts called on European Union nations to contribute more to Ukraine, and wrote that “aid for Ukraine should not be provided until the administration provides a plan that defines the end goal in Ukraine, describes the expected U.S. commitment to achieve that goal, addresses the effects of the presidential drawdown authority on U.S. capabilities, and assures further commitments from our European partners.”

In remarks Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer criticized Republicans for not supporting Ukraine aid.

“If funding for Ukraine fails, it will not be a bipartisan failure,” Schumer, D-N.Y., said, per CBS News. “It will be a failure solely caused by the Republican Party and the Republican leadership because it was a decision of that Republican leadership, pushed by the hard right, many of whom want Ukraine to fail, to make border [aid] a precondition to supporting Ukraine.” 

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