Rep Scott Perry Takes a Stand: No State of the Union Until Border Crisis Resolved

lev radin /
lev radin /

In a bold move, Congressman Scott Perry (R-Pa.) has passionately advocated for the Republican-controlled House to flex its muscles and deny President Joe Biden the customary State of the Union address next week. The reason behind this unprecedented proposal? A vehement disagreement over the President’s handling of border security.

In a recent appearance on Fox Business, Perry asserted that the Republican-controlled House should utilize “every single point of leverage” to force President Biden to address crucial issues surrounding border security and broader government spending concerns. One of the proposed actions involves withholding the traditional annual address to the nation, which the President delivers at a special joint session of Congress.

“The President comes at the invitation of Congress. The Republicans are in charge of the House. There’s no reason that we need to invite him to get more propaganda and actually to blame the American people for the crisis he caused,” Perry passionately stated during the interview.

Rather than affording President Biden a platform to speak, Perry suggests that Republicans should seize the opportunity to “remind America that on day one, he countervailed the last administration’s policies that were securing our border.”

President Biden’s initial actions in office, such as halting border wall construction and ordering a review of the Migrant Protection Protocols, commonly known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, have drawn sharp criticism from Republicans. This set the stage for the President to later repeal the policy, a move attributed by Republicans to the surge in noncitizens attempting to cross the border, both legally and illegally, during his administration.

Last year, following the Republican takeover of the House, they passed the “Secure the Border Act” (H.R. 2), a comprehensive border security bill calling for expanded wall construction and expedited removal for those entering or staying in the U.S. unlawfully. However, the Democrat-controlled Senate has yet to bring the bill to a vote, creating a persistent deadlock on the issue.

President Biden’s recent supplemental spending request further heightened tensions, including funding additional personnel to handle immigration cases. Republicans countered with calls for the President to align with H.R. 2’s border policy changes, emphasizing the urgent need for enhanced security measures.

The impasse over border security spilled into Senate negotiations, where attempts were made to incorporate border policy changes into President Biden’s spending supplemental. However, a deal reached this month faced criticism from Republicans who deemed it insufficient, arguing that it still fell short of their policy demands. The Biden administration countered by suggesting that Congressional Republicans succumbed to pressure from former President Donald Trump, alleging a deliberate effort to keep the border security issue unresolved before the 2024 election.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre expressed disappointment in a press conference on February 14, stating, “Congressional Republicans killed the toughest, fairest bipartisan border security deal in a generation.” She asserted that President Trump’s critique of the Senate border proposal played a pivotal role in the bill’s failure to garner Republican support.

The Senate eventually dropped the border security provisions from a $95 billion bill that fulfilled President Biden’s supplemental funding request for Ukraine, Israel, and U.S. alliances in the Indo-Pacific region. Notably, the House has yet to vote on this bill.

Despite the ongoing dispute, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) formally invited President Biden to deliver the State of the Union Address on March 7. The tension between Republicans and the Biden administration on border security remains palpable, setting the stage for a contentious address that could redefine the relationship between the executive and legislative branches.