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Mike Johnson said Trump isn't 'calling the shots' for House Republicans after the president implored them to reject a bipartisan border security deal

Mike Johnson
House Speaker Mike Johnson.AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein
  • Speaker Mike Johnson on Sunday dismissed the idea that Trump was "calling the shots" in the House.

  • On NBC's "Meet the Press," Johnson defended the House GOP conference's position on border security.

  • The Senate is set to unveil a border security plan this week, but House conservatives panned it.

House Speaker Mike Johnson on Sunday rejected the idea that former President Donald Trump was "calling the shots" on border security.

Johnson made the remarks on NBC's "Meet the Press" after he was pressed by anchor Kristen Welker about Trump's continued influence on legislative affairs on Capitol Hill and whether the former president was dictating the party's approach to tackling immigration reform.

"Of course not. He's not calling the shots. I am calling the shots for the House," Johnson said. "That's our responsibility."

"And I have been saying this far longer than President Trump has," he continued. "I have been saying what the requirements are to fix the problem. I don't care if they call the legislation HR 2 or not. What we're saying is you have to stem the flow."

Johnson during the NBC interview insisted that President Joe Biden had the executive power to curtail illegal border crossings at the US-Mexico border, a huge point of contention for Republicans since the president's first year in office. HR 2, the hardline immigration bill passed by the House GOP majority last year, is the only piece of legislation that many conservatives will embrace — but it is a nonstarter with the White House and Senate Democrats.

"The president has executive authority right now," the Louisiana Republican said. "As Congress does this negotiation and the debate and the discussion, the president could stop it."

"He could close the border literally overnight," the speaker continued, referring to Biden.

The president last month said that if the Senate passed a bipartisan border security bill, he'd "shut down the border" whenever it was overwhelmed with attempted crossings.

Trump, the GOP presidential frontrunner, has staked his 2024 candidacy on immigration, arguing that Biden has refused to secure the southern border properly. The former president has encouraged Republicans to walk away from the Senate's border security plan, which will be paired with additional funding for Ukraine and is set to be unveiled this week.

Read the original article on Business Insider