Democrats Still Dodging the Conversation About Humanitarian, Security Crisis at the Border
‘Over the course of this partial government shutdown, we’ve seen our Democratic colleagues engage in increasingly acrobatic contortions in order to dodge a serious conversation about the urgent humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border. Their refusal to come to the negotiating table has serious implications for the hundreds of thousands of federal workers going without pay, and for all Americans who deserve a nation that can secure its own border.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the need to secure our border and fund the government:
“Over the course of this partial government shutdown, we’ve seen our Democratic colleagues engage in increasingly acrobatic contortions in order to dodge a serious conversation about the urgent humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border. Their refusal to come to the negotiating table has serious implications for the hundreds of thousands of federal workers going without pay, and for all Americans who deserve a nation that can secure its own border.
“Along the way, we’ve heard that new funding for any sort of border barrier -- even the kinds that Democrats have supported so recently and so often -- would now be, quote, an ‘immorality.’ We’ve heard serious proposals brushed aside with joking offers of ‘one dollar’ to address this critical issue. We’ve even heard frank admissions that, 30 days from now, there would be no progress toward an agreement on border security -- even if the government were reopened.
“Under normal circumstances, we could expect lines like these from the farthest-left organizers and most vocal liberal protesters. But these are not normal circumstances. And these are the words of the Speaker of the House, the gentlelady from California, Nancy Pelosi. It’s unclear exactly when the Speaker made the determination that the explicit requests of the men and women who secure our borders and the safety of American communities would take a backseat to the political whims of the far left. That the border security efforts towards which Democrats have agreed to direct billions of dollars in the past have transformed overnight into something evil.
“But here we are. Day 25. We know the new and unreasonable position of the Speaker of the House. So here in the Senate, my Democratic colleagues have an important choice to make. They could stand with common sense, with border experts, with federal workers and with their own past voting records. Or they could continue to remain passive spectators, complaining from the sidelines as the Speaker refuses to negotiate with the White House, and ensure our nation keeps going around and around and around this political carousel. It’s up to my colleagues across the aisle.
“The substance of the border security issue is not the only subject that is occasioning a spectacular display of inconsistency from my colleagues across the aisle. If you recall, since last week, the apparent position of Senate Democrats has been that the Senate cannot engage in any of the people’s business until government funding is resolved. Democrats have held this posture so dogmatically that three times now, they’ve voted against advancing a bipartisan and urgently needed package of legislation that concerns Israel, Jordan, and the civil war in Syria.
“It’s been the Democrats’ very own ‘Senate shutdown,’ on top of the partial government shutdown they’re prolonging. What about our ally, Israel? The innocent people of Syria? I guess they’re out of luck. The Democratic Leader has made clear they’ll just have to wait. Until he decides to end his filibuster of these bipartisan bills -- which, until last week, he supported. It’s a bizarre position. It’s directly contradicted the stated foreign policy views of many of my Democratic colleagues. But this has been the Democratic Leader’s position.
“Filibuster the expanded assistance for Israel. Filibuster the new consequences for giving aid and comfort to the Assad regime as it butchers its own people. That’s what the Democratic caucus has overwhelmingly voted to do on three occasions. But now, we’re informed that it was all just a farce. The Democratic Leader actually doesn’t mind doing other business, per se. Because he now intends to bring a privileged and political stunt of a motion relating to the administration’s use of sanctions against Russia.
“Now, at least, we know the score. My Democratic colleagues don’t really object to Senate action as such. They just object to debating a bipartisan package of bills to reinforce our support for Israel, help Jordan stand firm amidst regional chaos, and take action to hold accountable those who have tortured and murdered countless Syrian civilians. There is no reason this bill shouldn’t sail through Congress and be signed by the president. A bipartisan bill to support Israel, defend Jordan, and provide justice for innocent Syrians – that’s what the Democratic Leader is filibustering. But a partisan motion on an unrelated foreign policy issue? He’s perfectly happy to see it come right here to the floor for a vote.
“Like I said, at least we know the score. Here is my commitment to Israel, and to Jordan, and to the Syrian people – I will continue to force these cynical tactics into the light of day. Democrats may vote a fourth time – or a fifth time – to filibuster these bipartisan bills, even as they turn the Senate toward other business. But Republicans will not abandon the need for American leadership in the world.”
Related Issues: Senate Democrats, Immigration, Homeland Security, Appropriations