Meuser: Time To Address The Border
Nearly six months into the new Congress led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, I offer some observations:
2019 began with Democrat leadership fully denying the existence of an illegal immigration crisis at our southern border. Democrat leadership allowed a 35-day government shutdown over a refusal to protect our borders. On 17 separate occasions in just over one month, House Republicans have attempted to pass legislation that would provide $4.5 billion in humanitarian assistance, which includes $3.3 billion to fund shelter capacity for unaccompanied children and provide for transportation to safe and efficient border processing centers. This funding is not intended to increase physical border security, which Democrats have long objected to, but rather humanitarian aid. Still, their leadership continues to block this critical funding.
Recent figures are staggering. U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced officers have apprehended or turned back nearly 700,000 migrants in the past eight months. Further, apprehensions in May marked the highest monthly total in 13 years near the southern border, with U.S. authorities detaining or turning away more than 140,000 people — including about 84,000 families and 11,000 minors. Alarmingly, the number of illegal immigrants that have crossed the U.S. border is unknown.
These undeniable facts even led the New York Times editorial board to recently publish a piece encouraging Democrat leadership to finally take action. Instead, they have chosen to prioritize politics over the people. Their goals are crystal clear: they value political messaging that aims to disrupt and resist while choosing to ignore the needs and security of American families.
In fact, this year’s Democrat agenda has focused on policy proposals that incentivize illegal immigration. When debating H.R. 1, sweeping legislation that alters long-standing national election standards, Democrats refused to support a Republican amendment expressing that illegal immigrants should not be allowed to vote in federal elections. Further, Democrats passed H.R. 6, which includes various blanket amnesty provisions. These actions are all part of the Congressional record.
On healthcare, their policy proposals are unsustainable. Their “Medicare for All” bill promises government-run single payer health care for every person, citizen or not, in the United States. This would be facilitated through the elimination of hardworking American’s employer sponsored healthcare and massive tax increases, at a cost estimate of $32 trillion taxpayer dollars. Additionally, Democrat leadership took a bipartisan bill aimed at lowering prescription drug costs and filled it with partisan poison-pill amendments, such as the banning of Association Health Plans and directing hundreds of millions of dollars into Obamacare’s failed Navigator program.
This Congress should be able to work on issues of real importance, like the proposed United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Democrat leadership has failed to consider and ratify USMCA, a trade deal that is crucial to the booming American economy and the manufacturers, fabricators, distributors, retailers, farmers, and other businesses in Pennsylvania’s Ninth District and our country.
House Republicans, and the President, are continuing to focus on the need for a growing economy, a strong national defense including border security, reduced healthcare costs, free and fair trade agreements, revitalizing our stressed communities, regulatory reform, and pro-growth policies which improve the quality of life of American families. Democrats’ political proposals are focused only on the 2020 election. Instead, we need 20/20 vision – a vision with policy and actions that put Americans first.
Congressman Dan Meuser (R-PA) represents the Ninth District of Pennsylvania