From Former Quigley Supporter:
Underwood Returns to the Texas-Mexico Border on 7/19/19
Congresswoman Underwood will be travelling to the Texas-Mexico border as part of a 9-member delegation from the House Homeland Security Committee on Friday, July 19.
Unlike her previous trip to Texas to the border in early April to facilities in El Paso, tomorrow’s trip will be to Customs and Border Facilities in the lower Rio Grande valley of Texas near McAllen, Hidalgo and Brownsville.
Homeland Security delegation will be lead by Congresswoman Kathleen Rice (D, NY), who chairs the Homeland Security subcommittee on Border Security, Facilitation and Operations.
The bipartisan delegation includes, in addition to Rice and Underwood, Representatives Max Rose (D, NY), Clay Higgins (R, LA.), Xochitl Torres Small (D, NM), Sheila Jackson Lee (D, TX), Nanette Barragán (D, CA), Mark Walker (R, NC), and Antonio Delgado (D, NY).
- Patch Link: https://patch.com/new-york/gardencity/rep-rice-lead-bipartisan-trip-texas-detention-facilities
Two of Underwood’s Bills Advance Out of Committee — Misinformation Posted in Underwood Press Release
At yesterday morning’s (7/17) House Homeland Security Committee meeting, two of Congresswoman Underwood’s bills before the committee were advanced to the full House for action.
Yesterday’s committee meeting was a “Markup” meeting, where legislation is reviewed by the committee and proposed amendments are discussed and voted-upon.
Underwood’s legislation before the committee, H.R. 3525 and H.R. 3526, were both reported out of committee and advanced to the full House.
After discussing/voting on amendments, a vote takes place to advance the legislation with a “favorable” recommendation to the full House.
After the committee meeting, Underwood released the following press release:
The press release concerns H.R. 3525 — U.S. Border Patrol Screening Standards Act.
Regrettably, it must be reported Underwood’s press release gave misinformation, which is something Underwood has done in social media multiple times, as previously reported here.
Twice in the press release, the word “unanimously” is used.
That is not what happened at the committee meeting yesterday, as the committee video, link below, proves.
Starting at the 1:40:12 point on the video, when Chairman Bennie Thompson (D, MS) calls up H.R. 3525, and after Underwood speaks to her legislation and amendments, Congressman Clay Higgins (R, LA), who was sitting-in for Ranking Member Mike Rogers (R, AL) as the acting ranking member, expressed strong objection to the “within 12-hours” direction of the Underwood legislation for treating migrants at the border, noting Americans, particularly veterans at VA facilities, do not have such protections.
Congressman Higgins’ response to Underwood begins at 1:45:44.
After Higgins’ discussion of his objections, and a procedural amendment-to-an-amendment and after Chairman Thompson weighs-in his support, 2 voice votes took place on the amendments, and a final voice vote to advance Underwood’s bill to the House.
On all 3 voice votes, the “ayes” had prevailed, though on each voice vote, there were audible “no”s heard on the video.
This bill and its amendments were NOT passed unanimously, and just because no one asked for a recorded vote does not give Underwood license to say it was “unanimously” approved. It advanced on a voice vote.
While the legislation will likely pass the House, Republicans’ objections to the 12-hour mandate in the legislation will cause problems for this legislation in the Senate.
Underwood’s other legislation, H.R,. 3526, the Counter Terrorist Network Act, was passed unanimously, through bundling the bill with other bills under a “unanimous consent” approval.
This procedure is comparable to how local boards approve “consent agendas”.
There was no discussion on H.R. 3526 prior to its approval. Towards the end of the committee meeting at the 2:36:20 portion of the video, Underwood addressed the committee, and points out her working with fellow committee member, Congressman John Katko (R, NY) on this legislation.
This was Underwood’s first bill she introduced with a Republican co-sponsor, and it has advanced to the full House for consideration.
- Committee Video 7/17/19 Link: https://homeland.house.gov/activities/markups/markup-of-hr-2203-3106-3246-3318-3320-3356-3413-3525-3526-3669-3670-3675-3691-3694-3699-3710-3722-updated
- H.R. 3525 Link: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/3525/text
- H.R. 3526 Link: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/3526/text
- Underwood 7/17 Press Release H.R. 3525: https://underwood.house.gov/media/press-releases/underwood-bill-address-medical-crisis-border-unanimously-advances-out-homeland
Long Term Solution to the Border Crisis
Nobody can deny there is a crisis at the border, and while there is plenty of blame to go around, including the previous administration, the problem is still there.
The emergency funding for the southern border passed last month and signed into law on July 1st provided emergency funding, but what is the long-term solution?
This past Sunday (7/14) on CBS Face the Nation, the acting Customs and Border Protection commissioner, Mark Morgan, was interviewed.
The transcript link is below for full reference, but at the end of the interview, Morgan reiterated the Trump Administration needs Congress to act.
The relevant excerpt from the transcript is cut and pasted below for reference:
MORGAN: Okay, but- but this is very important though is this could have been prevented in- in a couple of ways. Had Congress given the funding earlier than- than when we ask it would have helped alleviate some of the overcrowding.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But now–
MORGAN: The other thing right now is we’re con- continuing to ask Congress. We need legislative fix. We need Congress to act right now. Senator Lindsey Graham has a bill that he’s trying to push forward right now that would absolutely overnight help eliminate that- what you saw when we went down there with the vice president. Congress needs to act. They know it–
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
MORGAN: –and they’re failing to do so.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We’re going to talk to Senator Dick Durbin next. Thank you commissioner
The Senator Durbin interview immediately followed (transcript link below), with the relevant information cut & pasted:
SEN. DURBIN: I’ve been there. I was just there eight weeks ago in the El Paso area. I’m going to return in the next week. I- I watched as this group was in formation and it became apparent to me it was more about public relations than really getting down to serious policy discussions. I’m going to continue–
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well we’ve shown the video and not all of it is necessarily favorable to the administration. Wouldn’t it have been helpful for you to be there alongside Republicans to make the statement that you are working across the aisle or trying to?
SEN. DURBIN: Well, Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican, and chairman of the Judiciary Committee and I are still in serious conversation about dealing with the policy. We will continue to. I’ve been there I’m going back. I think the circumstances which are shown in the video were bad. What I saw were even worse these kids in cages were not part of the video. I can understand that there’s sensitivity to exposing them to public review. But the fact is, it’s happening and America is rejecting this approach by the Trump administration. They don’t want to see more with these mass arrests and deportations, families split apart. Now listen to this. We’re hearing from the administration the serious humanitarian challenges at the border. Those are going to be multiplied now by these ICE raids across the United States as families are divided and young people are sent to more detention facilities. It is not going to make it any better.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You- the- the administration says that the work you and Senator Graham are doing essentially the only game in town. You said there are at least five or six areas of common ground that Democrats in the Senate and the House could support. What are they?
So putting the political rhetoric aside, and Senator Durbin has made political rhetoric an art form, what specific legislation is being referred to by Senator Durbin that he and Senator Lindsey Graham (R, SC) could possibly be talking about that could end the crisis overnight? Is there legislation on file? Doing a search, the following legislation relating to immigration sponsored by Senator Graham came up:
- S.874 – Dream Act of 2019
- S.166 – A bill to provide provisional protected presence status for certain aliens and to provide mandatory appropriations relating to border security.
While the mandatory appropriations provision of S.166 looks to have been applied to H.R. 3401, the other components, plus components of S.874, might show a legislative road map to quickly end the border crisis.
It should be noted that S.874 lists Senator Durbin as an original co-sponsor to the Senator Graham legislation.
Another co-sponsor added later is Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Three other co-sponsors have been added to this bill, and counting Senator Graham as the sponsor, there are 3 Republicans and 3 Democrats.
This might be the bill Senator Durbin alluded to in the Face the Nation interview from Sunday.
Obviously, both houses of Congress and the President must agree on the legislation, but at least there is hope to have two high-ranking senators having “serious conversation about dealing with the policy”.
Everyone can agree this humanitarian crisis at the southern border must end, permanently, and if new policy from Congress will end it, let’s all pray in earnest for the solution to come forward, fast.
Senator Durbin alluded in his interview he will be returning to the border this week, possibly as part of a Senate contingent with the aforementioned House Homeland Security Committee delegation going to Texas tomorrow.
Another potential obstacle to passing legislation quickly is the August recess, with the House adjourning until the week after Labor Day next Friday, and the Senate taking August recess on August 2nd.
Time is running out to have legislation drafted, passed by both houses, and signed by the President before congressional August recess.
Prayers are needed that ALL SIDES, the President, the House and the Senate, can put all differences aside, end the political posturing, and get this done QUICKLY BEFORE THE AUGUST RECESS. Lives are at stake, and so is our nation.
- Face the Nation Morgan Link: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/transcript-acting-cbp-commissioner-mark-morgan-on-face-the-nation-july-14-2019
- Face the Nation Durbin Link: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/transcript-sen-dick-durbin-on-face-the-nation-july-14-2019
- S.874 Link: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/874/textS,166 Link: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/166/text