The White House defended apparent discrepancies between President Joe Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas‘s perspectives regarding the border after Biden admitted to reporters it is not secure.
“The president’s been really clear, right? He has been clear that we need to move on the border,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Monday during her briefing. “He needs resources to deal with the situation at the border. That’s why they’re having these conversations at the Senate, on the Senate level. That’s why he is asking for more resources. He wants to see additional resources but also changes to policy to address what we’ve been seeing at the border.”
Jean-Pierre relayed Biden’s optimism regarding congressional negotiations for more federal border security funding, in addition for more money for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, as part of his national security supplemental request and attempts to avoid a government shutdown.
The press secretary, who repeated there is “an urgent need” at the border, similarly stood by Biden for not traveling to the border since last January.
“The president’s been to the border,” she added. “He’s visited the border. He saw for himself. He spoke to law enforcement. He saw exactly what goes on at the border. The president understands what’s going on at the border, which is why he included it in his national security supplemental.”
Biden was asked about the border last week as he departed the East Room after speaking with a bipartisan group of mayors. During the prolonged exchange with reporters, the president, too, publicly supported Mayorkas amid the House Republican-led impeachment inquiry into him.
“No, it’s not,” Biden said Friday concerning whether the border was secure. “I haven’t believed that for the last 10 years. And I’ve said it for the last 10 years. Give me the money.”