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GOP: Secure The Border

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U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered remarks on the Senate floor regarding national security priorities.

McConnell was Tuesday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”. Here are his words:

“The Senate has less than two weeks to pass supplemental legislation on urgent national security priorities.

As I’ve said for months, that means addressing both grave threats to America’s interests overseas and a glaring border security crisis here at home.

Senate Republicans know that national security begins with border security.

And we’ve made it crystal clear that in order to pass the Senate, any measure we take up in the coming days must include serious policy changes designed to get the Biden Administration’s border crisis under control.

Apparently, some of our colleagues aren’t ready to take that reality seriously.

Senator Lankford, Senator Graham, and their fellow Republican negotiators are still at the table, working diligently on solutions. But from the White House to the Capitol, Washington Democrats are wasting time with bizarre public scoldings.

Instead of engaging actively in the border security discussions required to complete a viable national security supplemental, the Biden Administration has chosen to lecture Congress with a brag reel of its supposed leadership in countering Putin in Europe.

The Administration’s account glossed over its record of self-deterrence toward Russia, insisting that, ‘the time to help a democratic Ukraine fight against Russian aggression is right now.’

If only President Biden felt that sort of urgency in late 2021 and early 2022, as I and other Republicans urged his Administration to give Ukraine the lethal assistance it needed to resist Putin’s escalation. If only this lethal assistance – and critical investments in cutting-edge capabilities for U.S. forces – hadn’t required so much prodding.

Last week, at the Reagan National Defense Forum, the previous Administration’s former National Security Advisor, Robert O’Brien, made the case for supporting Ukraine.

He pointed out, rightly, that helping degrade the military power of a major U.S. adversary is in America’s national security interests, and that we shouldn’t hesitate to give Ukraine the weapons it needs to do the job.

And he observed that the Biden Administration’s ‘self-congratulatory talk’ doesn’t square with its ‘parsimonious’ approach to actually getting decisive weapons to the battlefield. As he put it, President Biden’s team ought to ‘stop patting [itself] on the back’.

For their part, it’s time for Senate Democrats to start demonstrating they’re more interested in reaching a productive outcome in border security discussions than in wringing their hands in the press.

The junior Senator for Connecticut has concluded that beginning to stem the humanitarian and national security crisis on our southern border amounts to, ‘closing the border indiscriminately.’

Apparently, restoring a functional asylum and parole system, orderly points of entry, and meaningful enforcement of our immigration laws is a bridge too far for Senate Democrats.

Let’s be absolutely clear what we’re dealing with here. Let’s establish exactly what it is that the Democratic Leader has called ‘extraneous’ to America’s national security:

On President Biden’s watch, CBP has recorded 6.5 million encounters at the southern border and 1.7 million known gotaways. And last fiscal year’s all-time record apprehensions at the southern border included 169 individuals on the terrorist watch list – a massive increase.

The Biden Administration tried to convince the American people that they were serious about this historic crisis by having asylum seekers download a smartphone app. Instead, week after week, all we see are numbers that somehow keep getting worse.

Meanwhile, liberal state and local officials told us that the increasing chaos of their ‘sanctuary cities’ could be mitigated if only we raced to give work permits to their ever-growing populations of illegal aliens.

Now, setting aside the fact that this creates the exact wrong incentives, the Biden Administration has already tried this approach and failed. In New York City alone, just 2% of recent arrivals have even applied.

President Biden’s officials have even admitted that they expected this unserious approach to produce a further surge in arrivals.

As recently as two weeks ago, the White House was trying to sell its flawed, insufficient supplemental proposal as a solution to the crisis.

As the junior Senator for Tennessee has pointed out, the President’s answer to the border crisis wasn’t to enforce immigration law – it was to turn ICE into a concierge service for illegal aliens.

Washington Democrats appear to be hell-bent on exhausting every half-baked idea before they get serious about actually fixing our broken enforcement system and securing our southern border.

That’s the job the American people expect them to do. That’s the foundation of America’s national security. And time is running out.”

The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard every weekday morning at 6:45, 7:45 and 8:45 on AM 1450 and FM 102.7 KVML.