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Speaker Johnson Circulates New Memo Indicating He May Become More Directly Involved in Immigration Negotiations with the White House

In a sign that House Speaker Mike Johnson may become more directly involved in negotiations on border security and immigration reform provisions in exchange for new aid to Ukraine and Israel, Johnson’s office circulated a memo pushing back on the White House’s immigration positions.

In the memo, Johnson’s office highlights that Congress has increased funding for Border Patrol operations by over $2.2 billion since fiscal year 2021 and that similar Immigration and Customs Enforcement operations funding has increased by $860 million. The memo also notes that during the same time frame, the average monthly encounters at the southwest border increased 63% annually.

Johnson’s memo also criticized President Joe Biden’s supplemental funding request, saying that only $2.4 billion of the $14 billion request would actually go to Border Patrol operations and said that much of the supplemental funding has nothing to do with border security and interior enforcement.

Johnson’s memo comes as Senate Republicans and Democrats continue to negotiate on border security and immigration provisions that could be included in a foreign aid packages for the wars in Ukraine and Israel. The bipartisan group has been working for weeks to come to an agreement but has thus far struggled to produce legislative text.

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