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Scalise: House GOP Won’t Let Biden Continue To Be Derelict On Border

  • 9.27.23 Floor Photo
Today, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) spoke on the House Floor in support of an amendment to hold the Secretary of the Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, accountable for his abject failure to secure America’s southern border. Leader Scalise slammed Secretary Mayorkas and the Biden Administration for their forfeiture of control over the southern border to drug cartels and human traffickers, effectively turning every American community into a border town. Leader Scalise bashed the Biden Administration’s open border policies which permit a virtually unchecked flow of fentanyl across our southern border, killing hundreds of young Americans every single day. Leader Scalise also highlighted the work of House Republicans to combat these harmful policies and equip America’s Border Patrol agents with the necessary tools to secure our southern border, while also working to fund the government and rein in Washington’s reckless spending.

Click here or the image above to view Leader Scalise’s full remarks. 

Leader Scalise’s remarks:

“Thank you Mr. Chairman, and I thank my friend from Arizona for yielding and for his leadership on the border, on this amendment, [and] on this issue. I rise in strong support of the amendment. As I see my friend, [Congressman] Joyce, I rise in strong support of his legislation. And frankly, Mr. Chairman, all of us here in the House and Senate — as we talk about the necessary funding of government — should be talking about what we need to do to secure America's border. And it should start with the Secretary of Homeland Security, who has been derelict his job, and this is the most important job that he has. Not only has he gone before committees and said, ‘Yes, the border is secure,’ as [Congressman] Biggs talked about, says, ‘There is operational control.’

You know who has operational control of the border? The drug cartels have operational control of  the border. It's become a multi-billion dollar industry for the drug cartels to bring people across our border. Not just from South America, Central America — from all over the world. Over 140 countries. Millions of people. He can't even tell you what the real number is. Is it five million? Is it eight million? This Department of Homeland Security won't even tell you what that number is, of how many millions of people have come into our country illegally since he took this job. Since [President] Biden became President of the United States and systematically destroyed the things that were working to secure America's border. More people than live in my home state of Louisiana have entered our country illegally since [President] Biden became President of the United States. They can’t even tell you where they’re going.

“We see mayors all across the country livid. Republican mayors. Democrat mayors. It doesn’t matter what your party affiliation is. It’s wrecking cities. Read comments from the mayor of New York City himself. Mayor Adams: ‘The cost of migrants will destroy New York City.’ You've got people — leaders — Republican, Democrat, all across America pleading with President Biden to address this problem and he refuses. He doesn't want to solve this problem. Secretary Mayorkas doesn’t want to do his job and solve this problem. The tools are there. The ability is there. They dismantled the things that were working — day one. And so what we have done as House Republicans, is brought legislation, not just today in [Congressman] Joyce’s bill, but we H.R. 2, the border security package, that we passed months ago to take necessary steps to secure America’s border.

“It’s been sitting over in the Senate. They don’t want to take action on this. The United States Senate has sat back and done not a single thing to secure the border. They want to pass a [continuing resolution] over here that continues the open border policy, meaning millions more people coming across our border illegally to communities all across America.

“I’ve gone to our border, I’ve embedded with our Border Patrol agents. You don't need to reinvent the wheel to know how to fix this problem. Our Border Patrol agents will tell you what needs to happen to fix this problem. They've told the President. He doesn't want to take those steps. So this House took those steps. But more of those steps need to be funded and that's what [Congressman] Joyce did in his bill that the [House Committee on Appropriations] put together. To fund, actually, more Border Patrol agents. To give them more technology. To build the wall. Yes, walls work. Technology works. Border Patrol agents want to do their job because they don't want the drug cartels having operational control like Secretary Mayorkas has allowed them to have. And if he's going to be derelict in his duty, we're not going to be derelict in ours. And so why don't we work until we get this right, not only here in the House, which we've done and we're going to continue to do,.

“But until the Senate finally realizes it's a problem, we're taking up for America. Until the President of the United States finally realizes this is a problem, we're taking up for the American people who are sick and tired of an open southern border. And it's not just because it's open. It's because of the problems that are coming with it every single day. We are losing 150 young people who are dying every single day in America from the drug overdoses that are coming in from the open southern border. Imagine if an airplane fell out of the sky every single day in America. How long would it take for us to stop everything we're doing to fix that? It wouldn't be a week that would go by that we would allow that to happen as a country, and yet it's been going on for over a year and a half — over two years. Every community. Talk to coroners in any community in America and ask them how many fentanyl deaths they're seeing of young people. 

“I had a high school group here not long ago and I said, ‘How many of you know someone who  died of a fentanyl overdose?’ Every single hand went up . These are our young people in America that they're poisoning with drugs made in China [and] infiltrated through our southern border because the drug cartels have been allowed to have operational control of our border by a Secretary who says it's under control. If that’s under control, I don't know what he would consider out- of-control. We are fed up with this problem. America is fed up with this problem and look at what they're saying all around the country. The whole mainstream media is covering this issue. It's not like this issue is under [the] radar anymore. Six months ago, it was. This issue wasn't being covered for a long time and I've got to give credit to a lot of my colleagues who represent border communities, because they're on the front lines and they started getting vocal because they started seeing it before anybody else did. And they started raising alarms and they said, ‘This is a crisis.’ And then others started going down to the border. We've taken over 150 delegations down to the border. Members of Congress, again, embedding with Border Patrol agents, talking about the problem, listening to our Border Patrol agents who were telling us what needs to happen. That's how we built the legislation we passed . That's how we built the legislation we're working on passing here on this Floor right now. But look at what they're saying all around the country.

"Everybody is saying this except the President of the United States, and the United States Senate, and we're not going to be quiet about this. We're going to continue fighting until we get this problem fixed. America demands it. America deserves it. We need to secure our border. That's what this bill does. It's a package of bills. It's been months in the works. It's time for the President to pay attention to this crisis and join with us as we talk about funding the government. You fund the government to address the problems that this country is facing, and this open southern border is at the top of that list. Let's get this done.”