AUSTIN, Texas — In a recent appearance at the University of Texas at Austin for the annual Texas Tribune Festival, Texas Senator John Cornyn voiced his frustration with a “dysfunctional” Senate “relegated to show votes” because of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s strict control and refusal to allow Republican bills to even be debated, much less come up for votes. One particular area of frustration for Cornyn was the lack of action on a bill he sponsored with Representative Henry Cuellar (D-San Antonio) regarding the surge of unaccompanied alien children (UACs), mostly from Central America, who had been crossing the border illegally from Mexico. Breitbart Texas interviewed Cornyn on this topic and about his hopes for the 2014 elections and beyond.
As Breitbart Texas previously reported, the bill sponsored by Cornyn in the Senate and Cuellar in the House, the “Helping Unaccompanied Minors and Alleviating National Emergency (HUMANE) Act,” would help expedite the processing of UACs and make it easier and quicker to return them to their home countries.
In his interview with Breitbart Texas, Cornyn described the bill as a “narrow piece of legislation designed to fix a loophole” in a 2008 law that allows the UACs to be released to friends and family members with little immigration enforcement beyond instructions to appear at a distant court date. Unsurprisingly, many fail to appear, and Cornyn notes, as many others have, that “it is a magnet, really, for a continued surge of illegal immigration.” Cornyn blames Reid for refusing to allow the bill to be heard, as well as President Barack Obama, because they do not want to “discourage their immigration activists that they are counting on turning out in great numbers on November 4th.”
Cornyn described Reid’s complete control over the agenda and procedures of the Senate, and the unfortunate result. “Senator Reid has decided to essentially shut down the Senate, in order to protect vulnerable Democratic Senators…he wants to protect them from difficult votes…in the process he has turned the Senate into a killing field for good bipartisan legislation.”
Cornyn also shared with Breitbart Texas what he’d like to see as part of a new agenda with a Republican-led Senate, assuming the party regains control after the November elections, including continued criminal justice reform and a balanced budget amendment.
Photo of Senator John Cornyn courtesy of the Texas Tribune Festival.
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