As President Obama ramps up request for emergency border funds, McConnell criticizes approach to crisis

07/10/2014 03:09 PM

UPDATED WITH GRIMES REACTION TO OBAMA REQUEST: Two days after a request from the president for emergency funds to address the influx of child migrants crossing the border, Kentucky U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell wants to make it clear that Congress will not hand over a blank check.

On Tuesday, President Obama asked Congress for $3.73 billion to address the crisis by supplying additional funds to Health and Human Services to aid unaccompanied minors in the care of the agency as well as more money for immigrant courts to speed up the backlog of cases involving these children.

After meeting with Republican Texas Governor Rick Perry Wednesday night, President Obama gave a speech where he placed pressure on Congressional Republicans to pass his request and address the problem.

But Senator McConnell used a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate Thursday to let the president know that he will have to work with Republicans in order find a solution to the crisis.

“This is a real crisis. So we’re taking a hard look at the proposal the President sent over. But we want to make sure we actually get the right tools to help fix the problem. And that’s not what we’ve seen so far from the President. What he appears to be asking for is a blank check—one that would allow him to sustain his current failed policy,” McConnell said in his speech. “He led Americans to believe that the problem could be solved if only Congress would pass his last-minute request. But it’s not that simple – much more needs to be done, and the President knows it.”

McConnell also criticized President Obama for not visiting the border during his trip to Texas to see the problem for himself but the president said he is “not interested in a photo-op.” But McConnell noted that the president is finding time to make campaign stops during his trip to Texas.

When asked by reporters Thursday if she supports the president’s more than $3 billion dollar request to deal with the border crisis, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes declined to take a stance on the emergency funds and instead criticized McConnell’s vote against the Senate’s immigration bill last year.

A statement request from Pure Politics on the issue also went unanswered Thursday.


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