Schumer rejects Speaker Johnson’s call to add border reform to Ukraine bill
Fresh off the victory of passing $60 billion for Ukraine through the Senate with 70 votes, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) didn’t waste any time pressuring Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) to bring it up for a vote in the House.
And he rejected Johnson’s demand that the Senate accept tough border reforms to deal with the surge of migrants at the southern border.
“Now it’s up to the House to meet this moment, to do the right thing and save democracy as we know it,” Schumer said at a press conference a few hours after the vote ended.
Schumer said he hopes to speak to Johnson directly to urge him to put the bill on the House floor.
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“I would hope to speak to Speaker Johnson directly, and my message is this is a rare moment where history is looking upon the United States and seeing if we will stand up for our values, stand up to bullies like [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and do the right thing,” he said.
“I will say to Speaker Johnson: I am confident that there’s a large majority in the House who will vote for this bill. I am confident there are many Republicans in his caucus who feel strongly we ought to pass this bill,” he said. “I will urge Speaker Johnson to step up to the moment and do the right thing.”
Schumer stressed the bill got 22 Republican votes in the Senate.
And he waved aside Johnson’s demand that Democrats agree to add language to strengthen border security amid a surge of migrants that averaged 10,000 a day in December.
“The bottom line is this bill passed with a robust majority. We need to get aid to Ukraine quickly. We cannot dither for another three, four months, and the quickest and best way to do it is to pass the Senate bill,” he said.
He argued that Democrats “were willing … to go many steps in the direction of a strong, tough border bill,” emphasizing the border security deal negotiated between Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) earned endorsements from the National Border Patrol Council, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and The Wall Street Journal.
“Unfortunately, too many Republicans succumbed to the ministrations of Donald Trump,” he said, referring to the GOP backlash against the bill after Trump urged them to reject the bipartisan deal.
Schumer also rejected a proposal floated by Trump to give Ukraine aid in the form of a loan.
“Look, the House should pass our bill,” he said. “We ought to stick with this bill. No one even knows how this loan program would work. Because Donald Trump says something off the cuff doesn’t mean Republicans should march in lockstep to do it.”