GOP Speaker’s Urgent Call to Biden

Mike Johnson

( – United States House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) placed an urgent phone call to Joe Biden to emphasize the need for executive action to address the surge of illegal aliens at the U.S. southern border.

This call came amidst a tense standoff in Congress over federal funding, with looming deadlines on January 19 and February 2 to avert a partial government shutdown. Many Republicans, demonstrating their commitment to stronger border policies, have even suggested a shutdown should the Biden administration fail to comply.

Speaker Johnson, taking a proactive stance, had previously reached out to Biden in December through a letter.

In the letter, he urged the president to promptly utilize the executive powers available under current immigration laws to tackle the unprecedented wave of illegal immigration. This call reinforces Johnson’s earlier plea for immediate and decisive action.

According to a statement from Johnson’s spokesman Raj Shah, as reported by CNBC, the Speaker firmly encouraged President Biden to use his executive authority to secure the southern border. He reiterated the points made in his December 21, 2023, letter.

In the letter, Johnson called for an end to the “catch-and-release” policy, advocated for either the return or detention of all illegal aliens found between ports of entry, and stressed the necessity of using parole authority judiciously, granting it on a case-by-case basis.

He also suggested renegotiating with Mexico to reestablish the Remain in Mexico program, expanding the use of expedited removal for quicker processing and immediate removal of those ineligible for asylum, and recommencing construction of the border wall.

The urgency of this issue is underscored by the staggering figures reported – over 8 million illegal immigrants have entered the U.S. since President Biden took office, with a record-breaking encounter of over 300,000 by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents in December alone.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed this critical dialogue during a briefing, noting that a phone call was deemed more expedient than a face-to-face meeting for this interaction. While specifics of the conversation were not disclosed, Jean-Pierre acknowledged the President’s intention for a swift and direct communication, emphasizing the importance of this issue to the administration.

A senior Biden administration official, as per CNBC, indicated that the White House remains open to a potential in-person meeting between Biden and Speaker Johnson.