News from Representative Rouzer

June 28, 2019

 

Dear Friend,

The humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border continues to worsen by the day. Last month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection apprehended more than 150,000 individuals -- three times as many as in May of last year. The agency has referred more than 52,000 unaccompanied children to the Department of Health and Human Services for care and shelter so far this year, more than sixty percent higher than last year. Our border patrol personnel are overworked, our shelters are overcrowded and our immigration court systems are overwhelmed.

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To cope with the crisis, almost two months ago the Trump Administration requested $4.5 billion in emergency funding from Congress. This is humanitarian aid, including $3.3 billion for shelter capacity, and care for unaccompanied children. It also included $1.1 billion for personnel and resources to combat human trafficking and smuggling.  

But for months, Democrats have refused to admit that there was even a crisis at allOn 17 separate occasions, House Democrats refused to consider a bill that would have provided the badly-needed humanitarian aid for the border.  

But instead of addressing this crisis head-on, earlier this week House Democrats opted for a different approach instead by passing a partisan messaging bill, full of poison-pill provisions that would render it dead on arrival in the Senate. The President had already threatened to veto it. Speaker Pelosi -- just hours before the vote — bowing to the demands of the most extreme liberals in her conference and altered the bill to make it even more partisan. It would have made the current crisis worse, not better. It was a waste of valuable time as the situation at the border becomes more dire each day.

Thankfully, a strong bi-partisan vote in the US Senate on a bill the White House negotiated with Senate leaders forced the Speaker’s hand.  It helped that she faced a revolt from the other wing of her conference — mostly from more moderate members who beat Republicans this past election — if she didn’t bring the Senate bill to the floor for a clean up or down vote.  

The Senate bill, approved with an overwhelming 84 votes in the Senate, provides the resources our border personnel need without the extreme poison-pill provisions that radical House Democrats had been demanding be included in the package. This bipartisan measure was passed by the House with more than 300 votes, and is now on its way to the President’s desk for his signature. 

It took far too long, but I’m pleased to see Congress finally come together in a commonsense way to help address our border crisis.

Sincerely,
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