Senate GOP leans on Johnson as border talks upset conservatives

Senate GOP negotiators, who are struggling to come to a border agreement that is critical for unlocking aid to Ukraine and Israel, have expressed doubts about whether Speaker Mike Johnson (R.-La. ) can sell it to House members. Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La) is not confident that he can convince House members to accept an agreement they reach.

Johnson, who was elected Speaker of the House five weeks ago has conditioned Ukraine’s aid on Republicans’ ability to implement border reform. Republicans and Democrats are still at odds over a possible agreement. GOP senators have expressed open concerns that Johnson will be able to bring a deal to the House Floor and convince enough conservatives.

Even if we got a majority [of Republicans] in the Senate, it would be a steep mountain for Speaker Johnson”, said Sen. Thom Tillis of N.C. who is a member of the bipartisan negotiation group. “There’s no question.”

The negotiators led by Sens. Since before the Senate recess for Thanksgiving, James Lankford and Chris Murphy have been meeting or talking regularly. They have reported progress on the talks.


The group has come to a deadlock over the issue of humanitarian parole, which is used by some migrants. Tillis told The Hill that there had been “no progress,” on this front. This means the border component will not receive the support it needs in the Senate GOP Conference, let alone with House conservatives.

The No. 2 Democrat and a member of the 2013 comprehensive immigration reform push, Sen. Dick Durbin from Illinois, said as much to reporters. The No. 2 Democrat, who is a member in the 2013 Comprehensive Immigration Reform push, told reporters that he was unwilling to budge because the parole issue is a critical part of the Biden Administration’s immigration policy.

Durbin stated that the issue was “very delicate”. “I agree that it’s not likely to be added into this debate,” Durbin said.

Johnson is giving the members of his party a boost. He told reporters on Monday that he had been in contact with negotiators, and that he supports giving aid to Ukraine in spite of the vocal group in his conference who are vehemently opposed. Senate Republicans are increasingly convinced that his role will be crucial to achieving a successful deal.

Markwayne Mullin, R-Oklahoma Senator, told reporters that “Mike is a great asset to us by bringing himself into the discussion.”

Members argue that Johnson’s involvement in the talks should not be underestimated, particularly after he voted against increasing aid to Ukraine in its war against Russia. A number of senators have recently referred to the words spoken by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the Old Senate Chamber, that Ukraine would lose the war if it did not receive the assistance.

Mullin, a former House member who joined the Senate in 2011 after spending more than 10 years in the House of Representatives, believes that Johnson’s current position is shaped by intelligence and briefings received as Speaker, something he didn’t receive as a regular member.

“When you are informed about Ukraine, your opinion changes.” Mullin stated that knowledge is the key and that when you do not know you don’t. “I have never heard him say anything he was not willing to do.”

Some conservatives in the House and their allies are already vocally opposed to any deal that may emerge from the upper chamber, despite the fact that there is no deal and Johnson has been exercising his muscles.

Heritage Action stoked the fire on Tuesday by urging lawmakers not to accept any agreement reached by the group. The right-wing group argued instead that “H.R. The only way to secure the border is by passing H.R.

“Conservatives in the House and Senate should reject this plan and support H.R. Kevin Roberts, head of Heritage Action and referring to the conservative border plan, said in a press release that H.R. “Anything else is unacceptable.”

Biden’s administration requested nearly $14 billion as part of its $106 billion package for processing migrants at the border. The need to unlock $60 billion in funding for Kyiv led to discussions about the border and immigration.

There is also no hard deadline for the completion of the supplemental. However, lawmakers have consistently believed that Christmas is a soft deadline. The group is under pressure to come up with a solution in the next few days, before Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-N.Y. ) plan to start floor consideration of the supplement next week.

The lack of a real deadline may allow the talks to continue into January. This month will be dominated by the government’s spending and the beginning of the presidential primary season in 2024.

All those involved in the talks support Ukraine aid, and they believe that the country should have been funded months ago.

“We were willing to give much in these discussions.” Murphy told reporters that “we are out of our comfort zone as Democrats.” “At some stage, Republicans will have to say yes.”