Joe Biden

Remarks in an Exchange With Reporters in Las Vegas, Nevada

February 05, 2024

Former President Donald J. Trump/2024 Presidential Election

Q. Mr. President, Donald Trump said he's ready to debate you right now. Do you accept? [Laughter]

Q. He just said that on radio.

The President. Pardon me?

Q. Wants to debate you immediately, he says.

The President. Immediately?

Q. Yes.

Q. Will you debate him?

The President. Well, I—if I were him, I'd want to debate me too. He's got nothing else to do. [Laughter]

Q. How worried are you about the border bill, sir? How worried are you?

Border Security/Bipartisan Senate Agreement/Immigration Reform

Q. What's your message to Speaker Johnson?

The President. My message to Speaker Johnson is pay attention to what the Senate's doing. We've got a bipartisan deal, it's—and you're going to see the detail of it this week. It will be introduced on Wednesday.

The border—I've been asking since the first thing—the first bill I introduced was on the border. We don't have enough agents. We don't have enough folks. We don't have enough judges. We don't have enough folks there. We need help. Why won't they give me the help, all this time?

And now they're starting about the—about the border. "It's out of control." Well, guess what? Everything in that bipartisan bill gives me control, gives us control without being—and still meets the needs of the people being able to come at all—legally come across.

We want to open avenues of legality and shut down the ones that are not coming through the points of entry. So there's a lot we can do.

And the one thing I am disappointed in we didn't get done in the Senate piece was, I think it's about time that—we have all those young people who came and now—the "Dreamers." It's ridiculous.

Can you imagine? You're 4 years old and your mom says, "We're crossing the Rio Grande." And you say: "No, Mom, leave me here. I don't want to go." Come on. What the hell is going on here?

And they've become contributing Americans that are doing good jobs, and they're decent. So it's about time we give them not only compassion, but a little brain—some brains in our head about what to be doing.

And by the way, I've asked for money for those machines that detect fentanyl. We have these machines that can—and these guys are screaming about fentanyl.

White House aide. All right.

White House aide. Thanks, guys.

The President. And by the way——

[At this point, several reporters began asking questions at once.]

Border Security/Bipartisan Senate Agreement

Q. How does the bill get passed? How does the bill get through the Senate?

The President. With 60 votes, and you're going to watch.

Q. Are you going to speak to Speaker Johnson?

White House aide. Okay, thanks everybody.

White House aide. Thanks, press.

The President. Thank you. Thanks, everybody.

By the way, this stuff is good.

[The President pointed at his tea.]

You ought to—you should have taken me up on it. [Laughter]

NOTE: The President spoke at 12:17 p.m. outside of No. 1 Boba Tea in the Las Vegas Chinatown Plaza mall.

Joseph R. Biden, Remarks in an Exchange With Reporters in Las Vegas, Nevada Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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