Washington, D.C. – House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) delivered a speech on the floor today to ask for unanimous consent for the House to bring up the Senate amended version of H.R. 3401, which passed the Senate with 84 votes and could immediately be sent to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law. The time is now, Leader McCarthy said, to finally end the humanitarian crisis at the southern border.
Highlights are below, or watch the full speech here.
“Fifty-eight days. Fifty-eight days is the amount of times the [Trump] Administration asked and said there was a crisis on the border and they needed funding. Eighteen times. Eighteen times, we had the opportunity to take a vote on this floor, and we did not come to a solution, and it did not pass. Two times. The New York Times wrote [two] editorials in those 58 days, calling upon this body to put politics aside – that this crisis on the border was greater than the politics that we want to play. The Mexican government realizes there is a crisis on the border, and just sent 15,000 troops.
“There is a time for every season – the season to continue to play politics is over. The season to put people before politics is now…
“Let me read the names of some of those who voted for this bill to understand what bipartisan sounds like. Senator Chuck Schumer, Senator Dick Durbin, Senator Tim Kaine, Senator Patty Murray, and Senator Dianne Feinstein all voted yes. Every single member of the Senate Democratic leadership voted yes to end the crisis on the border. But why, Madam Speaker, are we on this floor now? Why does the Democratic leadership on this side want to continue to play politics when the Democrat leadership in the Senate says no? Fifty-eight days is enough, 18 votes over there are too many.
“Dick Durbin is a leader of the Democrats when it comes to immigration. I have spent hours and months with Dick Durbin in a room trying to come to an immigration agreement, and we have seen places far, far apart. We have spent months trying to come to a conclusion. But you know what? We have this time. We have found a more perfect union that we found bipartisanship.
“But are we going to allow a few to continue to deny it? Fifty-eight days, you do not have more. The money is gone. The time is now. You know, and I know, that we are better than this.
“I heard in this rules debate that there are some amendments that somehow [will] make [the bill] better. What makes it better? That we do not fund to pay any overtime costs for Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers or provide funding for the active duty of the National Guard troops working with them on the front line of the crisis of the border? Is that making it better? Is that really what you want to stake your political career on?
“I will promise you this on this side of the aisle, we will stay here until this is done. We will not leave, and we will stand with the bipartisan vote in the Senate. If you’re worried about getting to 218 [votes], do not worry. Put that bill on suspension and I promise you it will pass.
“I call upon all of our better angels for this one moment, for this one time when America is watching, that we rise to the occasion. That we put the partisanship aside…
“There is a window and there is an opportunity. So Madam Speaker, I ask with unanimous consent to take from the Speaker’s table, H.R. 3401, with the Senate’s amendment there to and concur in the Senate amendment.”