May 11, 2023
McCarthy Slams Biden Over Border After Debt Limit Meeting Transcript
Speaker McCarthy urges passage of the GOP border bill on the House floor. Read the transcript here.
Transcribe Your Own Content
Try Rev and save time transcribing, captioning, and subtitling.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
The Speaker’s recognized.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy (00:03):
I want to thank you Mr. Speaker, but I want to thank Chairman Green for his work. Mr. Green, when we took the majority and you became chairman, you didn’t sit in Washington to figure out what the problem was, you actually took your committee to the border to see firsthand. Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, the ranking member on the other side wouldn’t attend, but he stands up speaker after speaker thinking he knows what’s happening on the border from far way in Washington.
I’ve been to the border four times in the past three years. I’ve seen the fear in the eyes of the ranchers who’s had their property broken into. I’ve heard the frustration in the voice of the border patrol agents who are stretched to the limit. Two and a half years ago when I went to the border, I sat with the agents in El Paso. They told me they saw something different that they haven’t seen before, that they were actually catching people on the terrorist watch list. I came down, I had a press conference. I announced what they told me. I would’ve thought, Mr. Speaker, the members on the other side of the aisle knowing what has happened at 9/11 and others, that they would rise up in a united front to protect America.
You know what I heard from my colleagues on the other side of the aisle? They said I was lying. They said they had as much security clearance as I did, that it must be not true because you see in Washington, they thought they knew all, but they didn’t go to the border to actually talk to the people who work right there. Interesting, as though, the next day the administration had to say it was true.
You know what the administration did then, withheld the information from Congress so they could no longer find out how many people we would catch on the terrorist watch list. They wanted to deny, to know what’s going forward. So to my good friend on the other side of the aisle, the ranking member of Homeland Security, I’m sure you know that in the month of February, do you know that we caught more people on the terrorist watch list, in this one month, in this one month, in the last entire time of the last administration? In the last administration, four years of everybody that came across on the terrorist watch list, this February more came across.
I’m sure from the far away, you might probably think that’s not true too. I felt the sorrows in the words of the mothers and fathers who lost their children to fentanyl. And you know what? You can stay in Washington if you want, and you’ll still hear the sorrows of the mothers and the fathers. Today alone, 300 Americans will be poisoned by Fentanyl, 300. It’s the equivalent of an airline crashing each and every day in America. I don’t hear you rising up. Every day, 300. They come from all walks of life. But you want to stand and you want to say no to H.R.2? I want you to look to the parents in the eyes of their young children because they didn’t buy fentanyl when they died, they were at college, they bought Xanax. And it doesn’t just happen to you think the kids maybe into partying or others.
Just last year on spring break, six kids OD’ed in Florida, they didn’t belong to fraternity, they went to West Point. They didn’t buy fentanyl. They all didn’t take the cocaine. Four of them did, the other two simply gave them mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. But you know what? Vote no. Go ahead. Vote no. But if you won’t lead, we will. If you want to take the same approach as the president, that you want to ignore a problem and say it’s not happening, we won’t sit back. We don’t sit back in Washington, we go to the border to actually see what’s going on. We listen, we learn, and then we sit in committee. Even though your committee went and had a hearing, I’m sure you’re very proud, you protested, you didn’t go. Who lost? More Americans lost. More Americans will die by your actions. For their sake and for our nation’s safety, we must secure our border.
This is President Biden’s record on the border, record crossings, record carelessness, record chaos. More than 11,000 people were caught yesterday crossing the border illegally. The highest single day total ever. But I look forward to hearing what the ranking members quote is coming forward, maybe you’ll quote the Secretary that the border’s secure. Believe him, you sit in Washington. And what will the administration’s plan for these 11,000? According to NBC News, the plan, it’s brilliant, listen to it, it’s to release many of them into the United States. No court dates, no way to track them. Because that worked so well in the past. Just ask the 85,000 children the Biden administration lost. I look forward to hearing the other side get up and tell me why they’re voting no, because they don’t want to find these 85,000. Don’t take my word for it, this comes from the New York Times.
Tomorrow. Tomorrow as you sit here and debate and fight to make sure the border is still wide open, Title 42 expires. Everyone knows we are days away from disaster. The mayor of El Paso, which recently declared a state of emergency says, “There’s no light at the end of the tunnel. We are preparing for the unknown.” The governor of Arizona says, “President Biden has been unresponsive.” And Governor Abbott of Texas rightly pointed out, “This is not a Texas problem, this is a problem for the entire United States.” I heard President Biden say yesterday that lifting Title 42 means it’s going to be chaotic for a little while. With all due respect, Mr. President, it’s been chaotic for the two years because of your actions.
When President Biden took office, on the very day, he decided against the advice of the border security experts, to single-handedly remove the successful border policies of the previous administrations. The first thing President Biden did, he stopped construction of the border wall. He spends money now just to house the equipment and materials. He halted deportations. He ended Remain in Mexico, and he called for amnesty for millions of people who broke the law. His actions sent a clear message to the world, including the cartels, the border is open.
I remember one of my trips down to the border, right after the president took office, we had a new facility built and they hit that day a record number, that the facility, they thought they’d never make capacity, but they did. And as we walked in, we interviewed those who were standing in line and we asked them why did they come? They said, President Biden told us to. He told us the border was open.” We asked, “How long was the [inaudible 00:08:34]?” “Weeks, months, but the President invited us.”
The world listened and the cartels acted. To this day, the Southern is flooded by illegal aliens for more than 140 countries, Yemen, Russia, China, and others. Yet how has this administration responded? A responsible administration would’ve told the American people in clear terms, this is a crisis, but the Biden administration tells the public that there is no crisis. Rather than leveling with the American people, the Biden administration is choosing to mislead them. I don’t know if the ranking leader has ever been to Tucson, Arizona, but I was there recently. In Tucson, Arizona, the cartels control the border. Every single person who comes across that border is wearing a camouflage outfit. On their feet and on their shoes is a piece of rug. 71% who come across that border are single males. They don’t run up to the border agents, they run from them. It’s one of the highest areas of getaways. It’s a large terrain, every day, Americans risk their lives to go rescue people on the cliffs, that have fallen.
We took balloons up so we could actually calculate who’s coming across. When this became such a reported case, you know what the Biden administration did? They cut the number of balloons. You know why? because they said the numbers will go down. That’s how they want to deal with it. They want to lie to the American public.
There’s no better example than Secretary Mayorkas who comments that the border is secure. Mr. Speaker, I hope the ranking member gets up after me and I would like them to answer one question. Does he believe Secretary Mayorkas that the border is secure? You’ve been chairman, you’re ranking now, I’m sure sometime you went to the border, but not when your committee did, not when we wanted to work on this bill. You wanted to protest. You wanted to not go, because you could learn everything you needed from right here in Washington, maybe from the Secretary. I’d like to know how many of you who stand up and say you’re going to vote against H.R.2, believe Secretary Mayorkas. Do you believe the border’s secure? Just honestly tell us, tell the American public if that’s what you believe
Everyone knows that isn’t true. You can’t say the border’s secure when more than 4.5 million people have crossed our border illegally in the 24 months since President Biden has taken office. There’s not one piece of legislation that’s has changed from one administration to the other, the only thing that changed was the president. And what did President Biden do? He lifted all the actions of President Trump and President Obama, and that’s what happened to our border.
You can’t say the border’s secure when more than 175 individuals on the terrorist watch list have tried to cross our border. You can’t say the border is secure when human trafficking has grown into a multi-billion dollar business for the cartels. You can’t say the border is secure when you don’t control the border and when the number one employer in some of these border towns is the cartel. You can’t say the border is secure when I sit there with mayors, that happen to be from the other party, and they tell me the personal stories, that their daughter called and he told her not to go outside because there was a car chase. A car chase because a cartel hired a young American to drive somebody they put across. The car was going through, and it’s not an unusual thing, it happens often. The schools there, they would tell me they had to close 45 days. But this car chase ended like others, it killed an innocent American.
This innocent American was going to a retirement party, a 65 years old grandmother. Was going to have her friends celebrate a life of work, looking forward to the times with all the work and investment she put in to spend with her grandchildren and travel, but no, her life was taken from her. And the secretary said our border is secure. If you would travel to these towns, you would know this too, if you would spend the time you’d understand. You see many of those elected officials aren’t Republicans, they’re Americans, they’re registered as Democrats, and they say they’re disgusted by what this administration is doing.
For while the Biden administration is missing in actions, House Republicans are going to take action. We spent two years listening to those who have lived through the border crisis, border patrol agents, ranchers, families, businesses, and local leaders. When I was in Tucson, I sat with a rancher. He’s told me he is found five dead bodies on his ranch. His grandson, seven years old, found one just last year. This is human life, 52 died in a tractor trailer. I sat with one, he told me this story, when he looked down the road, saw three young children, one not even one, the other three and the other four. Had the rancher not found them, they wouldn’t be alive. What about those who don’t make it? What about those who don’t pay the cartels?
I sat with one news covering agent, he told the story of a woman who didn’t pay the cartels, so the cartels took her life. They didn’t just take her life, they wanted to show it to everybody in the world. So they strung her body up in a tree, cut her legs off, put her on fire. You see, if you go to the border, you’ll learn these stories. You’ll actually know what’s happening there. So I don’t think you’d take a partisan position, you wouldn’t talk in talking points. You’d actually believe if four and a half million people in the last year came across, if 11,000 came across yesterday, Title 42 is going to be lifted. If you don’t like our bill, what’s your answer? What’s your plan? What are you going to do?
As I promised, we brought their government to them, visiting the border, gathering facts and holding hearings. What we learned directly informed not only our commitment to America, but also the Secure the Border Act. Here’s what this bill does, it fully provides for the effective border enforcement policies, infrastructure, and advanced technology. It increases the number of border patrol agents and gives them the bonus pay they deserve. It ends catch and release and strengthens current laws to protect unaccompanied children from the human traffickers. I hope everybody who votes no reads the New York Times.
I hope you read the stories about these young children. It reinstates the so-called Remain in Mexico provisions. And it resumes construction of the border wall, because the border wall works. The Secure the Border Act is the strongest border security bill to come through Congress in more than a hundred years. If it passes, I’m confident that we will stop the flood of fentanyl into our country, solve the Biden border crisis and support our border patrol agents so they can continue to keep us safe.
Fentanyl is the number one killer of Americans between the ages of 18 and 45. If anybody thinks about their life between the ages of 18 and 45, those are the years you reproduce, those are your most productive years in business. Those are the years of those who volunteer to serve in the military and defend our freedom. And right now the most productive population age in our country is being killed.
But I listen to the other side, they’re going to say, “No, continue it.” By the actions of this president, Mr. Ranking Member, you don’t have to go to the border because now every city is a border city. You see, in my hometown of Bakersfield, in the elementary school, a father registered his son just after Thanksgiving. The school district, public school, did a really good job, they noticed in two days this boy had an issue. They didn’t sit back, they went to his house, they met with his father. They said, “We feel your son has a challenge learning and others. And we want to work with you, we want to help him.” Literally went to his house in two days.
They watched him as he came to school, but you know what he did when he came to school? He walked over to a vape room, he had a backpack and he came into the class. They looked in the backpack, he had 150 pills and this kid’s not even 16 years old, I think he was only 12. The counselor took out the pill to see what it was. They had to call an ambulance because the counselor touched the fentanyl pill. I’m far from the border.
Just up the road in my district, they pulled over a car. I believe it was more than 500,000 Fentanyl pills. In California law you couldn’t ask the individuals if they were citizens, and they weren’t. I can’t tell you how much jail time they got because in California they believe in a lot of your policies, and so the person didn’t even have to have bail. They both got a ticket, told to show back up. They never did. They probably got back in the car, delivered more of those fentanyl pills coming across the border and some of those 300 Americans that die today, I’m not sure if one of those pills were theirs.
But I do know this, tomorrow when I cast a yes vote for H.R.2, we’re doing something to stop the fentanyl. We’re doing something for those families. We’re doing something for the next generation of America. If you believe in the rule of law, which is one of the greatest strengths of this nation, you cannot keep it if you have millions of people who break it by entering it. There is no nation as generous as American, one million people will become citizens this year, a million more next year. We’re different than any other nation, but what we have today is something that we don’t even control, our own operation of our borders. I urge all my colleagues to vote yes on Secure the Border Act. Vote yes on security over chaos and vote yes to stop the fentanyl killing our children. With that I yield back.
Speaker 1 (21:36):
Members are reminded…