WASHINGTON — With the threat of another government shutdown looming, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, took aim Wednesday at President Donald Trump’s claims of a border emergency, saying “there is no crisis.”
“The bottom line he found is (the shutdown) isn’t good for the country, it’s not good for the economy it’s not good for our federal employees, but it’s not good for every American who is served by the federal government, ” Hoyer said at a Capitol Hill press briefing.
Hoyer seemed confident that another shutdown will not happen, but said that he wasn’t sure what Trump would do, adding the president “hasn’t indicated that he won’t sign.”
The House and Senate were expected to vote Thursday on the final legislative package that includes some funds for more border fences and beds for detainees – far less than the nearly $6 billion Trump sought for a border wall. Congress must pass the bill and the president must sign it by a Friday deadline to avert another partial government shutdown.
Trump expressed confidence that he would get his way on border security.
“I want to thank all Republicans for the work you have done in dealing with the Radical Left on Border Security,” Trump tweeted. “Not an easy task, but the Wall is being built and will be a great achievement and contributor toward life and safety within our Country!”
Trying to combat Trump’s claims of an emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border, Hoyer visited the El Paso area last weekend with Reps. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas; Deb Haaland, D-New Mexico; Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Pennsylvania; and Xochitl Torres Small, D-New Mexico.
“The first, most dramatic thing we found was there is no crisis at the border,” Hoyer said.
The House’s No. 2 Democrat said there wasn’t one specific factor that needed to be addressed to make the border more secure, but rather a combination of many factors, including more personnel and additional technology and infrastructure such as heat sensors and drones.
After speaking with border personnel, Hoyer said, “nobody said there was a crisis at the border.”
“That doesn’t mean that there weren’t challenges at the border — I want to make that clear,” Hoyer added. “(It) doesn’t mean that we don’t need to make sure that our borders are secure.”