President Joe Biden said on Friday that the border deal being negotiated in the U.S. Senate was the “toughest and fairest” set of reforms possible and vowed to “shut down the border” the day he signs the bill.
The bipartisan talks have hit a critical point amid mounting Republican opposition. Some Republicans have set a deal on border security as a condition for further Ukraine aid.
Earlier in the day, U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson said the deal is “dead on arrival” in its current form, according to a letter to Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives reviewed by Reuters.
Biden, a Democrat seeking another term in the Nov. 5 elections, has grappled with record numbers of migrants caught illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border during his presidency. Republicans contend Biden should have kept the restrictive policies of Republican former President Donald Trump, the frontrunner for his party’s nomination.
“What’s been negotiated would – if passed into law – be the toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border we’ve ever had in our country,” Biden said in a statement.
“It would give me, as President, a new emergency authority to shut down the border when it becomes overwhelmed. And if given that authority, I would use it the day I sign the bill into law,” he said.
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