McConnell: Senate Plans to Address Humanitarian Crisis at SW Border Next Week

By Susan Jones | June 12, 2019 | 8:41am EDT
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) speaks at a June 11, 2019 news conference. (Photo: Screen capture)

( - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday congratulated President Trump for reaching an agreement with Mexico to stop the flow of Central Americans into the United States.

It "sounds to me like a pretty big win," McConnell told a news conference on Tuesday.

McConnell said now that the U.S. has received Mexican cooperation, it's time for congressional Democrats to step up:


So in the Senate Appropriations Committee a week from Thursday, we're going to mark up a supplemental appropriation to deal with the crisis at the border -- the humanitarian crisis at the border.

I hope our Democratic friends in the Senate will at long last follow our lead here and address this very, very significant crisis.

The numbers cannot be denied. Any objective look at this situation would have to conclude that this is a genuine humanitarian crisis. It cannot be solved without a combination of cooperation from Mexico and cooperation from congressional Democrats. I hope we'll get that, beginning in the Appropriations Committee a week from Thursday.

President Donald Trump has requested an additional $4.5 billion for humanitarian purposes.

Of that $4.5 billion, Democrats are okay with $3.3 billion or $3.4 billion, but regarding the remaining $1 billion "there are some things that are not acceptable, and some things that we don't love but we could accept," Schumer said.

"So we look forward to Senator McConnell working with us, and we can get a bill done, because there is a humanitarian need, a very strong need, to help these people. If he's going to just put his own bill together and say, 'make it bipartisan,' that never works," Schumer added.

In a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday, McConnell noted that it's been six weeks since the Trump administration submitted its urgent request for supplemental border funding.

"Six weeks, and this emergency request has essentially fallen on deaf ears among our Democratic colleagues," he said.

McConnell also noted that May marked the third straight month with more than 100,000 people apprehended at the Southwest border.

"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."

McConnell said there aren't enough beds, medical care, money or personnel to deal with the border emergency.

"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."

Democrats, meanwhile, are blaming Trump for the border crisis: "We are now facing pressures on our border that we have never seen before, for a president who was supposed to get tough on the subject, remember?" Sen. Dick Durbin said at Tuesday's Democrat news conference. "It seems like everything he says and threatens makes the situation on the border that much worse."

Durbin said Democrats want to provide humanitarian assistance, "as long as it clearly is done consistent with the values of the United States of America." Democrats have staunchly opposed any effort to halt the massive flows of Central Americans coming here illegally or seeking asylum that is unlikely to be granted.




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