WASHINGTON – Thursday on the floor of the Senate, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) discussed his vote against the Democrats’ attempt to block the President from securing the border and called on Congress to reform the National Emergencies Act.
Excerpts of Sen. Cornyn’s floor remarks are below, and video can be found above.
“As I’ve said in the past, I’ll repeat again: what we are doing here today is no one’s first choice.”
“The refusal of Democrats in the House and the Senate to engage in negotiations on border security funding has led us to a 35-day government shutdown. Despite the clear message from border security experts, despite seeing the humanitarian crisis at the border described by President Obama in 2014 get many times worse, our Democratic colleagues decided to play politics instead of dealing with the problem.”
“My preference would be for the normal appropriations process to be used. But when your negotiating partners refuse to take a seat at the table, normal goes out the window. Our colleagues across the aisle left the president with few options to fund what he believed were so important for the nation’s security, and that’s what led us to this situation.”
“It’s clear that the president is operating within the authority that Congress has given to him. You don’t have to like it. You don’t have to agree with it. But it’s clear that the president is operating within the authority Congress delegated to him.”
“I believe there’s a need to rein back in some of the authority that Congress has delegated to presidents, just as an institutional concern, as a constitutional matter. Which I am cosponsoring a bill that has been introduced by our colleague, Senator Lee, which gives Congress a stronger voice in processes under the National Emergencies Act.”
“I think this is an honest and important effort to hopefully help us prevent us from ending up in this predicament in the future.”
“The terrain and the 1,200-mile border between Texas and Mexico vary significantly.”
“What works well in one sector does not work well in another. And what I continue to hear from my constituents, including elected officials at the border, that if this is the border patrol telling us what they need in order to succeed to do the job we have asked them to do, we’re all in.”
“I think we need to take action to adequately fund our border security missions, and I hope our discussions in the coming months will be more productive than they have been so far this year. I will vote against the resolution of disapproval today and encourage my colleagues to instead focus our energy on reforming the legislation that got us into this situation to begin with.”
Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, is a member of the Senate Finance, Intelligence, and Judiciary Committees.