FIRST ON FOX: Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, is refusing to attend House Republicans’ planned trip to the southern border, he told fellow lawmakers on Tuesday, arguing that those being affected by the migrant crisis are “tired” of such events.
“I commend Speaker Johnson’s efforts to take a group of House Republicans to the Texas border tomorrow so that any members unaware of the depths of the threat to our citizenry may become fully informed. However, I will not be attending,” Roy wrote in a letter to colleagues which was obtained by Fox News Digital.
“Our people – law enforcement, ranchers, local leaders – are tired of meetings, speeches, and press conferences. So, for those of us who have already witnessed this crisis dozens of times, it’s past that time. It’s time to act with urgency.”
Roy urged the House GOP majority to leverage government funding talks to force Democrats in the Senate and White House to pass H.R. 2, Republicans’ border security bill which would reinstate Trump-era policies like Remain In Mexico and vastly expand border officials’ expulsion authority, among other measures.
He did so while tearing into fellow Republican hardliners who killed an earlier effort to force H.R. 2 into a short-term government funding bill known as a continuing resolution.
“I am well aware that some of my ‘more conservative’ colleagues were instrumental in shooting down an attempt to attach border security in the form of H.R.2 to funding legislation this past fall. That was a disastrous mistake, and as equally tiresome and problematic as the excuses Republicans typically give about fearing ‘shutdown.’ Thus, this letter is directed to all of us, for while Democrats own the crisis and abuse of our laws, we Republicans own the failure to force a response to that crisis,” Roy said.
“To be certain, use of our constitutional authority to withhold funds to force adherence to the law comes with cries of ‘government shutdown’ and concerns we will fail to sustain key priorities such as funding for troops and Border Patrol agents themselves. These claims can be dismissed if we pass legislation to fund those very basic responsibilities…while withholding funding for the vast majority of the federal government until it performs its basic duty to defend the borders of a supposedly sovereign nation.”
The Texas Republican’s letter appears to be a protest of GOP leaders’ handling of the border crisis, as Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., looks to put it front-and-center for the House in the new year.
Johnson is leading a group of more than 60 House Republicans to the border on Wednesday, when they are expected to tour part of the area around Eagle Pass, Texas, and stage a press conference. They are also expected to speak to officials on the ground.
It comes as the White House and Senate Democrats negotiate with Republicans on border security and asylum measures. GOP leaders have made clear that Democratic concessions on the border are necessary to pass President Biden’s $110 billion supplemental aid package that includes money for Ukraine and Israel.
Johnson has suggested that anything less than H.R. 2 would face opposition in the House, a sentiment shared by Roy and others on Johnson’s right flank.
Fox News Digital reached out to Johnson’s office for comment on Roy’s letter.
The number of people attempting to cross the border in December shattered records at 302,000.