This week, after months of denial, Democrats tried to sell their solution to the humanitarian crisis at the border. It took a headline story from The New York Times to get them to act, and now that we have their attention they’ve put forward a proposal that would be downright dangerous. Billions of dollars in humanitarian aid are needed to ensure that children have access to food, water and beds to sleep in. The spending bill adopted by Democrats would fail to do this and leaves the agencies responsible for migrant children desperately underfunded.
Democrats shockingly chose not to include any funding for investigations into the cartels and drug smugglers trafficking children across the border. They even proposed cuts to overtime pay of the hardworking and understaffed border agents. There’s also zero funding to support National Guard deployments, including the 1,000 National Guard troops Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent to the border last week. All of this is included in the Republican bill put forward weeks ago, but House Democrats have rejected a vote on it since January.
The Democrat bill also falls short of what’s needed to process migrants through our legal system. The millions of court cases require judges to hear them and are extremely costly. Courts have become so overwhelmed that a backlog of 900,000 cases is waiting to be heard. When Republicans suggested we provide more funding for judges to hear those cases, every Democrat in the House rejected the motion.
It’s become clear that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made a choice. She believes Democrats score political points when they accuse President Trump and Republicans of neglecting children at the border. As a result, children continue to suffer while the crisis continues to worsen. The Senate negotiated a bipartisan solution and it received widespread support. I would encourage the Republican-led Senate to mentor Speaker Pelosi’s leadership team on how to reach across the aisle. If Republican Senators can make a deal, Democratic House members should follow their lead.