tv U.S. Senate Sen. Cornyn on Government Shutdown CSPAN January 14, 2019 8:36pm-8:46pm EST
commons both on brexit. watch our coverage on c-span2 and i'm p.m. eastern and wednesday morning, watch live coverage of the prime minister's question time at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span2. >> on the floor of the senate today several senators spoke about the government shutdown now in its 24th day. leading off remarks by john cornyn. >> mr. president, here we are january 14, 24 days ago border security funding and 25% of our government lapsed. democrats refuse to come to the negotiating table with legitimate offer that would end this partial government shutdown and provideng vital funding for border security measures. their negligence has harmed 800,000 federal workers who are not being paid while the
dostandoff continues. and it is completely stall the work here in the senate because minority leader, senator from new york, has got his colleagues to fall in line to block the legislation that is currently on the floor that would offer aid and comfort to our friends and allies in the middle east, country like israel and jordan. it is completely stall the work here in the senate as well. sadly their efforts have sought water security more of a political football than the national security issue that it is. i find so cynical the fact that democrats have drawn a line in the sand over something they have largely supported in the past. for example, in 2006 the past secure fence act and this legislation called for more than
800 miles of fencing along the us-mexico border and it authorized additional layered we keep discussing things like vehicle barriers, sensor technology, cameras and lighting. that bill passed by 80-19. eighty-19. exactly the same kind of border security measures we're talking in and the democrats have shut down 25% of the government over. eighty-19. barack obama, chuck schumer, hillary clinton, all supported the secure fence act. yet this is somehow their opposition of president trump and anything and everything he wants has become an article of faith for the radical left. a few years later in 2013 the senate with democrats holding the majority voted on the border security economic opportunity and emigration modernization
act. it's known as the gang of eight comments of immigration bill. and that bill among other things provided funding for infrastructure that is barriers along the border as well as personnel and the types of things we continue to advocate for today. in total that bill appropriated $46 billion for border security. the democrats and senator schumer and speaker pelosi shut down the government over $5 billion that the president was requesting for border security yet 54 democrats in r every single one in 2013 voted for $46 billion. well, today they have turned their nose up at the president's request for 5.7 billion and it makes no sense whatsoever.
unless you look through the lens of partisan political gamesmanship because rational actors and reasonable people find a solution could easily come up with a solution based on this history. it would not take 24 days and were not take 24 hours and maybe 24 minutes to come up with a bipartisan, bicameral solution the president would sign so what are we talking about? were talking living we talked about back in 2006 and in 2014 and were talking about in the structure and the president likes to call the wall and other people call it offense but it includes things like vehicle barriers along the arizona mexico border and this is exactly the sorts of things we talked about in voted for in 2006, 2013. the majority of democrats supported those measures in the past it today the same proud of
what they have wrought which is one quarter of our federal government being held hostage over the same exact measures. their continued intransigence and refusal to get serious about negotiating shows one of two things. either their party has completely flipped in their position on common sense border security measures or recently refuse to work with the president because they loathe him. either way they should be ashamed. they should be embarrassed. but they are not. while democrats continue to sit on their hands the president has said he will consider declaring a national emergency and left a few other options. in order to provide funds for border security and i don't believe declaring a national security emergency is necessary or productive although i do support the president's request for $5.7 billion for border security.
one of the most fundamental constitution response abilities of congress is to provide funding for our government. it's our job, not the president's job in this standoff should be resolved as all other funding disagreements have been in the past where everybody comes to the table with a serious offer and everybody negotiates in good faith. in a democracy gets one 100% of what they want. i support the president efforts to secure our borders. but i also believe taking a step like declaring a national emergency and averting disaster relief to border security would seriously hurt those who are still recovering from the impact of natural disasters like breaking harvey. the storm which had my state was the largest rain event in american history. more than 50 inches of rain fell in parts of houston over about
five days. it destroyed homes and businesses and communities and though a great deal of progress r t been made we are still healing. last year, congress and the president worked very hard to secure nearly $90 billion in disaster relief for the people of texas and the other states and territories impacted by the devastating hurricanes and wildfires during that time. and efforts, the in ministration strongly supported. in texas that money was needed both to support recovery and rebilling efforts as well as fund projects that would mitigate future flooding from hurricanes. hurricane harvey is not the first hurricane we have sustained and will not be the last. we need to getet ready for the next one. diverting those funds away just for border security would be a major step backwards and could further harm the victims of hurricane harvey. what democrats either intransigence have forced the president into doing is looking
for other options like taking money from disaster relief to fund border security. the fact is we need to do both and wewe can't rob peter to pay paul. you need to do both. i've been grateful for president trump's continued support of my estate as well as other states affected by natural disasters. it is critical that every dollar is preserved to finish the job. that is true and i know we all feel that way about natural disasters that fit our state. sometimes mr. president the senate is referred to as the greatest delivered a body in the world and at times like this when senators and senator leadership like senator schumer and ms. pelosi refused to negotiate with the president i wonder whether the senate is
blocked by senate democrats from proceeding to consider important foreign affairs legislation and i wonder if it still look ourselves in the mirror and call ourselves the world's greatest delivered body. historically we've been able to reach a consensus on very tough issues. far more controversial than this because we all believe that american interest should come first in our constituents should come first and we are here to serve their just not play political games and score political points. it is time for our democratic friends to come back to the table so we can finally end this unnecessary and harmful shutdown and hopefully in the process the 800,000 federal workers that miss the first paycheck last friday can get paid during this next pay. and we can reopen the federal government so we can serve the interest of the american people as we should have done 24 days ago.
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