Skip to content

Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On Republicans Blocking Bipartisan Legislation To Secure Our Border

Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on three months since Republicans blocked serious bipartisan legislation to secure our border after those same Republicans demanded action on the border. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

When it comes to fixing our southern border, the American people demand that elected representatives prioritize action over rhetoric.

It is the easiest thing in the world to do what many Republicans have done this year and done year after year: come to the floor, complain that the border is a mess, and then do just about nothing to fix the problem.

It’s the easiest thing in the world to do what Donald Trump and his followers have perfected over the years: demonize immigrants, pay lip service to our border agents, but ignore the work required to make change happen.

Democrats know that the situation at the border is unacceptable. We know that the status quo cannot continue.

But Democrats also know that fixing the border requires bipartisan legislation from Congress.  

Six months ago, Democrats sat down with our Republican colleagues to get to work on drafting the strongest border security bill Congress has seen in decades. It contained many of the biggest issues that our Republican colleagues have demanded: fixes to asylum, more money for border agents, and it increased the President’s emergency powers to respond to high numbers of border crossings.

Our bipartisan bill was the closest Congress has been in decades to fixing our southern border – until Donald Trump blew it all up for political gain.

I’ve seen many cynical things around here over the years, but it’s hard to think of something more cynical than Republicans blowing up their own border deal in order to help Donald Trump win an election – because they think chaos will help them win.

After all, how many times have we heard from Republicans that we need to fix asylum?

How many times did we hear Donald Trump say that our asylum system was “archaic” and that “what Democrats should be doing now is…changing the loopholes?” That's Trump. Trump said that.

How many times did we hear our Republican colleagues say on the floor things like “we’ve got to redo our asylum laws,” as my colleague from Florida has said?

If my Republican colleagues care about fixing asylum, why did they vote to kill the best chance we’ve seen in decades to fix it?

If my Republican colleagues care about our border agents, why did they vote against a bill that would have hired 1,500 more agents and given them more tools to stop the flow of drugs and weapons?

If my Republican colleagues truly believe the system is broken, why did they vote against a bill that would have provided more immigration judges, more asylum officers, and had the support of the very conservative Border Patrol Union?

Two words is why: Donald Trump. It was Donald Trump who didn’t like that Congress finally reached a deal on the border that would have taken away a key issue for him on the campaign trail. It was Donald Trump who made clear that exploiting the border is great, but actually fixing the problem is not.

I know this is a frustrating issue for millions of Americans. Many of us who want to solve the problem – on both sides – are frustrated as well.

Republicans are going to go on and on and on about the border. But facts are stubborn things.

When Americans ask this year who is to blame for the continued mess at the border, they should listen to the words that came from Donald Trump himself.

“Please, blame it on me.”