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'It Is a Catastrophe': Trump and Biden Heading to Texas Border Towns for Dueling Appearances

Trump photo (AP/Alex Brandon) Biden photo (AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Trump photo (AP/Alex Brandon) Biden photo (AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON – With a potential government shutdown looming, Congressional leaders as well as the two frontrunners for the presidency are putting emphasis on the southern border. 

Both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will visit Texas border towns on Thursday in dueling appearances at the border. 

The top four Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate met with Biden to hash out differences over the looming shutdown, with House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) putting emphasis on the border crisis. 

"We must take care of America's needs first. When you talk about America's needs, we have to talk about our open border," Speaker Johnson said after the meeting. 
A bipartisan Senate border bill collapsed recently after the House Speaker made it clear he would not support the bill in his chamber. 
"We all agree that we have a broken immigration system and that there's a need to address the challenges at the border in a thoughtful, bipartisan way," said House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) following the meeting. 
Illegal immigration has already become a central theme of the 2024 election with the dueling visits on Thursday by the two presidential frontrunners. A prolonged government shutdown would further stall any border action in Congress.

"Our border and making sure it's secure. I believe the President can take executive authority today to change that. I told that to him today as I've said many times to him publicly and privately over the weeks. It's time for action. It is a catastrophe and it must stop," Speaker Johnson said. 
Democrats are skeptical there are any border solutions without legislative action. "Could you do border just by administrative action, I think Biden won that argument. He said, we all said, you can't do it. You need personnel. You need legislation for personnel, and even the Republicans in the budget asked for more money for personnel at the border," said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) after the meeting. 

To further emphasize just how important of an issue the southern border is in America right now, a new Gallup poll released today shows a majority of Americans say immigration is the top problem the country is facing. It's the first time immigration topped the list since 2019.

Both parties seemed optimistic a shutdown could be averted and border discussions would continue. 

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