Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) said he won’t be attending the House GOP border trip Wednesday, calling instead for Congress to focus on new legislation and vowing to fight fellow Republicans to do it, if necessary.
Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) is set to lead a group of about 60 Republican lawmakers to Eagle Pass, Texas, on Wednesday as the House zeroes in its legislative focus on the southern border as the 2024 election cycle ramps up.
The congressman commended the trip but added that the House should instead be working on passing bills.
“Our people — law enforcement, ranchers, local leaders — are tired of meetings, speeches, and press conferences,” Roy said in a letter obtained by The Hill.
“It’s time to act with urgency,” he added, noting a “historical failure” of Republicans to properly address border security in the past.
He committed to vote against any government funding measure that doesn’t include border security reform that he deems adequate, again raising the possibility of a government shutdown. Much of the government is set to run out of funds Jan. 19.
That promise follows threats from House Republicans to refuse foreign aid funding for Ukraine until Senate Democrats and the Biden administration can agree to a border security bill. The two sides have continued negotiations on the issue for weeks.
“Now, we Republicans have a duty to use the ‘power of the purse’ described by James Madison in Federalist 58 to end the abuse of power by President Biden and to force both the immediate end to illegal flow and the permanent improvement of our border security laws,” Roy wrote.
He also derided bipartisan efforts that avoided previous government shutdowns by passing continuing resolutions for the federal budget, which he said only served to continue “exorbitant Nancy Pelosi [fiscal] 2023” funding levels for government programs “without a single border security provision attached.”
“All members of Congress should be on notice: They own it if they fund it,” Roy said, referring to what he described as failures on the southern border. “We must finally use our Article One constitutional authority to force the President to end his abuse of power that endangers Americans with open borders.”
The Biden administration has renewed pressure on the Mexican government to stem undocumented immigrants in recent weeks. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas met with the president of Mexico last week to discuss migrant policy.
“The House majority is wasting valuable time and taxpayer dollars pursuing a baseless political exercise that has been rejected by members of both parties and already failed on a bipartisan vote,” the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement last month. “There is no valid basis to impeach Secretary Mayorkas … and this extreme impeachment push is a harmful distraction from our critical national security priorities.”
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