Rep. Tony Gonzales on potential border deal passing the House:

Washington — Rep. Tony Gonzales, a Texas Republican whose district includes over 800 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border, said Sunday it’s going to be a “battle” getting any deal involving Ukraine aid and border security funding through the House. 

A bipartisan group of senators has been negotiating a landmark deal to limit asylum and expand detention and deportation efforts. This border agreement would be paired with aid for Ukraine and Israel

Gonzales said “it’s a good start,” but “the devil’s in the details.” 

“The Senate is much different than the House. The Senate is going to have its battle getting to 60 votes. The House is going to have its battle getting to 218,” Gonzales told “Face the Nation.” “We can do that. But we have to sweeten the deal.” 

Gonzales said that includes designating cartels as terrorist organizations and holding smugglers accountable. He said those could help get a bill across the finish line. 

Rep. Tony Gonzales on “Face the Nation,” Dec. 17, 2023

CBS News

“The deal between the Senate and the White House is going to be much different than the House and the overall package,” he said. 

The GOP-led House passed an immigration bill earlier this year that would make it much more difficult for migrants to claim asylum in the U.S., among other strict provisions. Republican senators have recently said it’s not realistic to expect the Senate to pass a similar bill when it did not have a single Democratic vote in the House when it passed in May. 

Without a deal, House lawmakers left Thursday for their holiday break, while senators have remained in Washington to see if they can strike a deal before the end of the year. 

Gonzales said House Speaker Mike Johnson of Louisiana has not given a timeline for getting a bill through the House if the Senate reaches a deal. 

“We can’t just wait,” Gonzales said. “We have to find 218 votes, however we can, and push things over the finish line.” 

Oksana Markarova, the Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S., told “Face the Nation” that “time is important” in getting additional aid through Congress. The White House recently warned that the U.S. will run out of funding by the end of the year to assist Ukraine in its war against Russia. 

“All the eyes are on Congress now, and we really hope that there’s progress that we hear about and they will be able to find a solution,” Markarova said Sunday. 

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