'Why should he have to do it?': WH press secretary ducks on Biden's refusal to get a grip on the border

During Wednesday’s White House briefing, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre addressed the border crisis, defending President Biden’s approach and giving a shocking reason as to why he has not taken action.

Jean-Pierre opened the briefing by saying it was up to Republicans to do something to solve the problem or continue to use it as a political issue. 

When asked why the president has the authority to do something about the issue unilaterally, but isn’t doing anything, Jean-Pierre responded.

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“Why should he have to do it unilaterally? Why shouldn’t we do it in a legislative way?” Jean-Pierre replied.

Biden took 94 executive actions to reverse Trump’s border policies after taking the oath of office in January 2021.

Jean-Pierre continued playing defense, arguing that President Biden has taken many executive actions before, but in order to deal with what’s happening at the border and a broken immigration system, there needs to be a legislative approach.

“You need legislation, you need it to happen in a bipartisan way. And that was negotiated. It was negotiated. There was an agreement in the Senate. Republicans and Democrats came together. You just said it’s broken, it’s divided. To be more clear. And they came in, they did that. And so that matters,” Jean-Pierre said.

She added that in the past three and a half years, the Biden administration has been able to move forward in a bipartisan way on a lot of legislation. 

“The President is clear about where he stands – he believes we are a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws. We can expand lawful immigration pathways and ensure the United States remains a beacon of hope and opportunity,” Jean-Pierre wrote in a post on X. 

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Jean-Pierre received considerable backlash on her post, with many calling on the Biden administration to close the border.

“Biden has betrayed America. Not arguable,” one user commented.

“Joe Biden doesn’t need a bill to secure the border. He could use executive orders. He used them to undo Trump’s orders that secured the border. The proposed border bill allows 1.8 million illegals in a year. That’s as bad as now. Deport all illegals and close the border,” another user wrote. 

“We are a nation of immigrants. We have immigration laws. Apparently, this administration thinks letting everyone and anyone in is lawful immigration. Explain please how these people are lawful immigrants. They are ILLEGAL ALIENS!” another user posted.

Jean-Pierre dodged questions again, saying that it’s up to Senate leadership to speak about the process and how they are going to move forward.

“What I will say is it is long past time to get this done, to get this moving. We were able to get a bipartisan negotiation, a plan forward on an issue that many Americans care about, an issue that matters for our immigration system, for what’s happening at the border. And that’s a good thing,” Jean-Pierre said. 

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The secretary added that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., wants to move this forward and is “very good at this.”

“He’s very good at dealing with big legislation. Obviously, as we’ve been able to move important legislation through over the past three and a half years. So I’m going to let him speak to that,” she finished. 

In a letter to senators dated Sunday evening, Sen. Schumer revealed his plan to bring an immigration bill to the floor once again after it was rejected primarily by Senate Republicans in February. 

“We are hopeful this bipartisan proposal will bring serious-minded Republicans back to the table to advance this bipartisan solution for our border,” he wrote. 

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However, Republicans in both chambers of Congress are preparing to band together to block any hope of a Democrat-backed border bill getting to the finish line. 

While Schumer explained that he expected to fall short of gaining full support from either party, the White House promptly backed Schumer’s plan, with Jean-Pierre calling on “every senator to put partisan politics aside and vote to secure the border.”

The bill failed a test vote in February, by a vote of 49-50, short of the 60 votes needed to proceed. 

Fox News’ Julia Johnson and Elizabeth Elkind contributed to this report. 

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