U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson and dozens of Republican lawmakers visited the southern U.S. border Wednesday, where Johnson called for strict new immigration policies.
Johnson laid out hard-line immigration controls as a condition of support for President Biden’s latest request for funding Ukraine’s defenses.
Johnson told reporters Wednesday that he would stick closely to policy objectives already laid out by Republicans.
HR 2, a bill House Republicans passed in May without any Democratic votes, would put new restrictions on asylum seekers and restart construction of the wall on the southern border.
“If it looks like HR 2, we’ll talk about it,” Johnson said about possible immigration legislation from the Senate.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Johnson also suggested he could make border security a condition of agreeing to pass new government funding.
“If President Biden wants a supplemental spending bill focused on national security, it better begin with defending America’s national security,” he said.
Border crossings reached a level in December that swamped officials and forced the temporary closure of cargo rail and border crossings in Texas and Arizona. Crossings have since fallen from those seasonal high points, but lawmakers have signaled bipartisan effort will be required to address the demands of immigration going forward.
“We need to fix the border. There’s virtually unanimous agreement among Democrats and Republicans about that,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Wednesday. “Everyone’s going to have to give something to get this done.”