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Texas Democrat blasts Speaker Johnson for scoffing at $14 billion in border funds

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Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-Texas) criticized Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) for suggesting on Wednesday that border patrol agents do not want the $14 billion in supplemental funds the Biden administration has requested to help deal with migration at the southern border.

In an interview on “CNN NewsNight with Abby Phillip” on Wednesday, Crockett responded to Johnson’s earlier suggestion on the network that border patrol agents do not want the additional funding — which would provide 1,600 asylum officers to speed up the processing of claims, as well as 1,300 Border Patrol agents and 1,000 U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents.

Instead, Johnson said, the agents want policy changes. He spoke to CNN’s Jake Tapper during his trip with House Republicans to the southern border.

“I disagree,” Crockett said. “I obviously wasn’t there, so I don’t know who it was that the Speaker and his cronies were able to visit, but I can tell you that I’ve had these conversations. And what I hear is that they do need the funding.”

“We have so many officers that are having to leave their homes and be forced to go to the border because we are understaffed,” she added.

Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-Texas)

Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-Texas) addresses reporters during a press event on Wednesday, December 13, 2023 to preview the upcoming vote allowing House committees to continue their impeachment inquiry into President Biden. (Greg Nash)

Crockett advocated for advancing the supplemental funding request and addressing any needed policy changes.

“So no, I will disagree and say that they need the funding. But I will also agree that there needs to be policy changes as well. It’s not about doing one or the other. It’s about doing both,” Crockett said.

“And I can tell you that the money right now will help those cities that are struggling, whether it’s Eagle Pass or if we’re talking about Chicago, or if we’re talking about New York, I can guarantee you those mayors would not turn down the funding that the President has tried to push through and the Republicans refuse to do it,” Crockett added.

U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson speaks while standing with Republican members of Congress, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2024, in Eagle Pass, Texas. Johnson is leading about 60 fellow Republicans in Congress on a visit to the Mexican border. Their trip comes as they are demanding hard-line immigration policies in exchange for backing President Joe Biden’s emergency wartime funding request for Ukraine. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Johnson faced some pushback from Tapper on Wednesday over his comments about Biden’s funding request.

“That won’t solve any of the problems I just articulated,” Johnson told Tapper when asked why Republicans were not moving the supplemental funding.


More House coverage from The Hill


When Tapper said, “I’m sure the people, the Border Patrol agents that you’re with, think it might do something, at least in terms of making their job a little easier for the next month or so,” Johnson replied, “No, no, actually, they don’t.”

“They don’t want the $14 billion?” Tapper asked.

“No, no. I just quoted to you the deputy chief of the U.S. Border Patrol, and he said he doesn’t need more buckets. In other words, he doesn’t need more personnel to handle the flow. He needs to turn the flow off. That’s what we’re talking about. This is not about sending more money down here. It’s about changing the policy. And the White House seems not to understand that,” Johnson said.


Source: The Hill

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