Congress Must Pass Bipartisan Supplemental Border Funding to Address Humanitarian Crisis at the Border
‘The agencies The professionals whom our nation has entrusted to keep America safe and to care for these people have been begging for more resources for six weeks. Their calls have solidified a national consensus that spans the entire political spectrum. More than a month ago, the editorial board of the New York Times - the New York Times -- not what you would call devoted admirers of the Trump Administration - wrote an editorial they titled “Congress, Give Trump His Border Money.”’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the humanitarian crisis at our southern border:
“Last week’s announcement of progress in negotiations with Mexico was a welcome development. It staved off the threat that tariffs would disrupt an important trading relationship and secured a promise that Mexican authorities will take more responsibility for their own borders. But, as I said yesterday, while this was a critical step, it does not absolve Congress of our duty to finally act. Not even close. It was May 1st, when the administration first transmitted to Congress its urgent request for supplemental border funding. That will be six weeks ago tomorrow. Six weeks, and this emergency request has essentially fallen on deaf ears among our Democratic colleagues.
“In the meantime, we should note, the month of May marked the third straight month with more than 100,000 individuals apprehended at the southern border. In fact, last month’s total — more than 140,000 — was the largest in the last thirteen years of CBP data. By the way, that includes more than 84,000 family units and more than 11,000 unaccompanied children. These are enormous numbers of people showing up at our border. The American personnel who are charged with securing our nation and looking after these individuals are overwhelmed.
“The agencies are overwhelmed. The facilities are overwhelmed. It is a true humanitarian crisis, totally unsustainable for these individuals whom our national security and rule of law dictate that we need to detain. At overcrowded facilities, beds are in short supply. Medical care is wearing thin. Money and personnel from across the Department of Homeland Security are being diverted from other important missions on an emergency basis to cover shortfalls. But even that cannot go on much longer.
“This is from John Sanders, the acting commissioner of Customs and Border Patrol. Here’s what he said: ‘We are at a full-blown emergency… the system is broken.’ That’s the head of Customs and Border Patrol. ‘The system is broken.’ The professionals whom our nation has entrusted to keep America safe and to care for these people have been begging for more resources for six weeks. Their calls have solidified a national consensus that spans the entire political spectrum. More than a month ago, the editorial board of the New York Times – the New York Times -- not what you would call devoted admirers of the Trump Administration – wrote an editorial they titled ‘Congress, Give Trump His Border Money.’
“‘Something needs to be done,’ they wrote, ‘Soon. [But] unfortunately, political gamesmanship once again threatens to hold up desperately needed resources.’ That was the New York Times in early May. At the time, both houses of Congress were negotiating the supplemental funding bill for recent natural disasters. But Democrats chose to come down to the left of the New York Times editorial board – that’s pretty hard to do -- and decided to deny the White House this border money.
“One member of the House Democratic conference complained that the need for border money was, quote, ‘political.’ Another House Democrat admitted to reporters that his own side was the problem. This is what he said: ‘In my opinion, we do have to come up with some money. But we’ve got to convince our more progressive friends…’ Again, these are not resources for any remotely controversial cause. We are talking about humanitarian funding for -- among other things -- caring for families and children who show up on our border in need of help. That’s what we’re talking about here.
“This is not a subject where the political left should need week after week of convincing. But apparently, our liberal colleagues just cannot get past their animosity for the president. Even on something like this. Now, during these six weeks, the House has found plenty of time and energy for purely partisan things. There’s been plenty of histrionics and political theater. We’ve seen hearing-room melodrama. We’ve seen some partisan messaging votes. We’ve seen plenty of political theater, opposing the president for the sake of opposing him.
“They have time for all that. But nothing — nothing — for the urgent border crisis. May 5th, New York Times: ‘Congress, Give Trump His Border Money.’ May 23rd: ‘Democrats balked at allocating billions of dollars more toward border security.’ June the 9th, very recently: ‘When Will Congress Get Serious About the Suffering at the Border?’ Two New York Times editorials. Two. Give Trump the money for the border crisis. This is breathtaking -- the alliance between the New York Times editorial board and the Trump Administration – being ignored by our Democratic colleagues.
“So look, the question we’re asking ourselves every day, as the House continues to ignore this crisis: what’s the problem here? And I suspect it’s the question the men and women we ask to secure the border are asking one another every day. When will our Democratic colleagues get serious? Believe me, we know that our Democratic counterparts are not charter members of President Trump’s personal fan club. We’ve got that. They’ve made that clear abundantly clear over and over again. Their entire political agenda these days just seems to be repeating that fact, nice and loud, over and over again in case we hadn’t already heard it. So we’re all plenty familiar with ‘the Resistance.’ We’ve seen that here in the Senate which is why we’ve had so many nominations clogged up.
“But ‘The Resistance’ does not pay the bills. ‘The Resistance’ doesn’t produce the funding that border facilities desperately need. ‘The Resistance’ doesn’t plug the holes in our nation’s border security or improve humanitarian conditions on the border. Only one way to fix this: bipartisan legislation with supplemental border funding is what we need to do. So for everyone’s sake, I think the entire country is hoping that Democrats remember that their job is governing, not ‘resisting.’ It’s far past time to get serious about this and solve this problem.”