McConnell on Border Crisis: Let’s Put Partisanship Aside and Advance This Targeted, Bipartisan Solution
‘As I’ve noted before, today my colleagues and I on the Appropriations Committee will begin marking up a standalone funding measure to address the humanitarian crisis on our southern border. By now, it could hardly be more obvious that the border crisis is unacceptable and unsustainable. I think all of us know perfectly well that immigration is a politically charged subject. But surely, at a minimum, Congress ought to at least be able to provide these emergency funds.’
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:
“As I’ve noted before, today my colleagues and I on the Appropriations Committee will begin marking up a standalone funding measure to address the humanitarian crisis on our southern border. By now, it could hardly be more obvious that the border crisis is unacceptable and unsustainable. I think all of us know perfectly well that immigration is a politically charged subject. But surely, at a minimum, Congress ought to at least be able to provide these emergency funds. This is what my Republican colleagues and I have been saying over and over again for weeks now.
“Remember, we are talking about money for non-controversial purposes, mostly humanitarian efforts. These are resources so that authorities can better accommodate the men, women, and children who have been turning up in record numbers on our southern border. Resources to alleviate the overcrowding in facilities; to lighten the untenable burden that our overstretched agencies are having to bear.
“Whatever the Senate’s other disagreements— and there are plenty — this funding, for these purposes, in the midst of this crisis, should be a slam-dunk. I won’t repeat here all the facts and statistics that show why the status quo is so unsustainable. By now we all know that the agencies on our border are running on fumes.
“The acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection has said, quote, ‘We are at a full-blown emergency… the system is broken.’ The acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement has put it this way: ‘We are begging. We are asking Congress to please help us.’ And as I’ve noted several times, even the New York Times Editorial Board has seen fit to side the Trump administration on this issue. One of their two editorials on this subject was headlined: ‘Congress, give Trump his border money.’
“It has now been 50 days since President Trump submitted a request for emergency aid for badly overstretched agencies. In that time, partisan resistance has blocked progress. At least one House Democrat from a border state has publicly admitted that his left flank inside his own caucus has been the obstacle here.
“But here in the Senate, I think many of us, Republicans and Democrats alike, hope and expect that we can do better. This body can take the lead, set a better standard, and deliver a clear message. If the Appropriations Committee can approve this legislation today, across party lines, it will be a big sign of progress. A big, bipartisan vote will be a big step toward the Senate forging a real consensus where House Democrats have failed and finally getting this urgently-needed funding moving.
“I am grateful to Chairman Shelby and Ranking Member Leahy for finding common ground and generating this progress. I urge my fellow committee members on the Democratic side — let’s finally put partisanship aside and vote to advance the kind of targeted, bipartisan solution that this crisis has needed for weeks.”
Related Issues: Immigration, Homeland Security