‘Real Failure’: DeSantis Torches Congressional Republicans For Abandoning Leverage To Tackle Border Crisis

[Screenshot/Twitter/Ryan Saavedra]

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis torched congressional Republicans Tuesday for abandoning their leverage on tackling the border crisis.

The governor said House Republicans “surrendered” their power to address the ongoing crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border after the chamber passed a foreign aid package allocated billions of dollars to American allies. He accused the party of handing Biden the foreign aid funds he requested while receiving nothing in return to secure the border.

“They basically just surrendered on the border. They now have no leverage to do anything on the border. They had an opportunity to insist that Biden accept the border if he wanted all the foreign aid and they decided to capitulate,” DeSantis said. “And so he got everything he wants, and Republicans voters did not get anything with respect to stopping this problem at the southern border … Look, we’re doing more in Florida to deal with it than the Congress is and it’s just pathetic that that’s going on. So I was really, really disappointed to see that they basically capitulated entirely on the border and, at this point, you’re not gonna see anything done on the border for the rest of this year.”

The $95.3 billion legislation, backed by House Speaker Mike Johnson, intends to allocate $60.8 billion to Ukraine, $15 billion in military aid to Israel with an additional $9 billion for humanitarian aid, $8 billion for Taiwan, The New York Times reported. Johnson has repeatedly vowed to secure the border before providing any additional security for foreign nations.

“You’ve heard me say that we want to pair border security with Ukraine because I think we’d get bipartisan agreement on both of those matters,” Johnson said during his first formal press conference as speaker on Nov. 2, according to a CNN transcript. “We have obligations and we have things that we can and should do around the world, but we have to take care of our own house first. And as long as the border’s wide open, we’re opening ourselves up for great threat.”

“What we’ve said is that if there is to be additional assistance to Ukraine — which most members of Congress believe is important — we have to also work on changing our own border policy,” Johnson said during an Nov. 27 event in Florida, Axios reported.

Republicans who opposed the bill criticized the speaker for not including border security measures, including Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, who called the legislation a “surrender.” Republican Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance called the lack of funding for the border “a massive betrayal.” (RELATED: Mike Johnson Pushes Ukraine Aid Bill Separate From Border Security—Despite Months Of Assurance Otherwise) 

“I think Speaker Johnson is a good guy, but if he brings up a foreign aid package, sending billions of dollars to Ukraine, without doing anything on the southern border, it will be a disgrace and a massive betrayal, not just of Republican voters, but of the entire country,” Vance told Fox News. “Why would people elect Republicans if Republicans are more focused on the border of another country than the border of our own country?”

Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, Mike Braun of Indiana, Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama signed a letter opposing Johnson’s plan to include four foreign aid bills into one, according to The Hill.

Illegal border apprehensions have surpassed 1.3 million in the 2024 fiscal year, which began in October 2023, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Border officials apprehended over 2 million migrants in the 2022 and 2023 fiscal years, and these numbers surpassed 1.7 million in the 2021 fiscal year—the first year of President Joe Biden’s administration.

Apprehensions surpassed 400,000 in 2020, the final year of former President Donald Trump’s administration, according to CBP.