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Congressional Leaders ‘Optimistic’ On Border Deal After White House Meeting

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell said he expects the Senate could vote on the immigration package as soon as next week.

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden and top congressional leaders met at the White House on Wednesday as they inched closer to a bipartisan immigration deal with the war in Ukraine and border crisis at its peak.

“We are closer than we have ever been,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said after the meeting. “For the first time, I think the chances of getting it done in the Senate are greater than not getting it done.”

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.,) spoke after leaving the White House, saying the meeting “productive”.

“We must have change at the border — substantive policy change,” he said.

Johnson and House Republicans have been urging the Democratic-led Senate to take on the GOP-led bill known as H.R. 2. but after the meeting at the White House, Johnson appeared to not hold as strong a position.

“We’re not insistent upon a particular name of a piece of legislation, but we are insistent that the elements have to be meaningful,” Johnson said.

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Johnson also called Ukraine aid a “necessity” but added that “we must insist that the border be the top priority.”

“There are a couple of people in the room who said let’s do border first. We said we have to do both together,” Schumer said.

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Wednesday that he expects the Senate could vote on the immigration package as soon as next week.

“We have a number of important international responsibilities. And I think it’s time to go ahead with the supplemental, and I’m anticipating it’ll be before us next week,” he said.

Getting the immigration and foreign aid package passed is a tall order because even if it passes in the Senate, the House is where the issues come up.

“I don’t think now is the time for comprehensive immigration reform because we know how complicated that is. You can’t do that quickly,” Johnson told reporters Wednesday.

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White House chief of staff Jeff Zients, National Intelligence Director Avril Haines and budget director Shalanda Young were the administration officials in attendance, according to the White House.

Stephen Anderson
Written By

Stephen Michael is a Political Correspondent based in the United States. He has reached a global audience with his coverage of the 2020 Election and Trump White House. Michael joins Forward Axis News after spending time with the Project Spurs Network since 2014 and covering reality TV in the UK, Australia, and Canada.

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