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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On The Need To Take Action On Securing The Border After Republicans Blocked The Strongest Bipartisan Border Security Bill In Decades

Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the need for real action on the border after Republicans blocked consideration of the strong bipartisan Senate border security bill. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Three things are true about the southern border. One, the status quo cannot continue. Two, Democrats want Congress to take action. Three, the only way we’ll solve this issue is with real bipartisan action, not partisan talk.

Instead of just making a lot of speeches, pointing a lot of fingers – blame, blame, blame – we Democrats want to get something done to secure our border.

Democrats showed we are serious about border security when we worked with Republicans to write the strongest border security bill in a generation, to hire more border agents and asylum officers, enhance drug enforcement, fix asylum. 

We had the strongest border security bill in decades ready to go here in the Senate – with a lot of support from Republicans – until Donald Trump killed it to keep the issue alive on the campaign trail. He said it: he wanted chaos because it might help his election, and then he said “blame it on me.” I remember when he said blame the shutdown on me, when Speaker Pelosi and I went to his office. I don’t think that’s a very successful strategy and it’s certainly not what’s good for America.

So, this bill is such a strong bill. It’s a bill that would add more than 1,500 new Customs and Border Protection personnel, 4,300 asylum officers.

A bill Democrats spent months negotiating and fine-tuning and revising. Unlike the vast majority of bills in Congress that are dubbed as “border security,” this wasn’t a messaging bill – this was a product of months of bipartisan negotiation, written with the goal of reaching the President’s desk.

A bill supported by the people who know – perhaps better than anyone else – what it takes to address border security: the National Border Patrol Council, a very conservative group. Their president called our bill “a step in the right direction” and “far better than the current status quo.”

Donald Trump’s sabotage of the strongest border bill in decades makes it obvious he cares only about this issue so long as he can exploit it for political gain, not about solving the problem that Americans want solved.

If Donald Trump was genuine about wanting to fix the border, if he actually believed this was an emergency, he would have supported the Senate’s bipartisan bill.

Still, Democrats have not walked away from this debate. We want to secure the border. We know it will take bipartisan action in Congress.

And we call on our Republican colleagues to join us to advance border security legislation – bipartisan legislation – that the people demand.