U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) this week discussed Congress’s responsibility to protect our nation and the lack of support from Democrats to fund increased security at the border.
Thune’s remarks (as prepared for delivery):
“Mr. President, it’s difficult to believe that we’re almost two weeks into a partial government shutdown because Democrats don’t want to fund increased security for the border.
“Border security is a national security requirement, and every member of Congress, Republican and Democrat, should take seriously our responsibility to protect our nation by ensuring that our borders are secure.
“At one time Democrats understood this:
“In 2006, the Democrat leader and the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted for legislation to authorize a border fence.
“They were joined in their vote by then Senators Biden, Clinton, and Obama.
“In 2013, every Senate Democrat supported legislation requiring the completion of a 700-mile fence along our southern border.
“This legislation would have provided $46 billion for border security and $8 billion specifically for the wall.
“Nearly every Senate Democrat supported $25 billion in border security funding just last February.
“And yet today Democrats would rather keep part of the government shut down than provide the money we need to secure our borders.
“Our national security situation certainly hasn’t changed.
“Our borders are not sufficiently secure, and as we have seen, they’re a target for illegal entry.
“Over the past year, illegal border crossing apprehensions have shot up by more than 30 percent.
“The holes in our border security leave us susceptible to illegal entry by gang members, human traffickers, drug dealers, terrorists, and weapons traffickers.
“Yet Democrats are refusing to budge on sorely needed border security funding.
“Because Democrats are reluctant to oppose the far-left wing of their party, which increasingly seems to be advancing the preposterous notion that we don’t really need to secure our borders at all.
“Mr. President, every nation has to secure its borders.
“Preventing dangerous individuals and goods from entering is an essential part of every country’s security.
“And as my Democrat colleagues have proved in the past, they know this.
“I hope they’ll think better of this government shutdown and decide that their national security obligations are more important than catering to the far-left wing of their party.
“It’s time to fund our border security and end this shutdown.”