House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has been trying to shame the Biden administration on two main fronts. First, McCarthy keeps slamming the turmoil at the border — both currently and in anticipation of the expiration of Title 42. For the border crisis, McCarthy places the blame solely on the Biden administration.
This is happening because the president of the United States has sent a message to the whole world that the border is open.— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) May 11, 2023
Today, House Republicans will pass H.R. 2—the Secure the Border Act—which would put an end to this madness. https://t.co/cK1CrUdZfv
McCarthy’s second most slung arrow is his gamesmanship on the debt ceiling — using a potential U.S. default as a controversial negotiating wedge to try to push through budget mandates that largely favor his supporters in the oil business.
(Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) called McCarthy’s proposal an “oily wish list written by polluters, for polluters” adding “275 out of 315 pages of the MAGA bill are devoted to giveaways to the fossil fuel industry.”)
But McCarthy’s biggest problem and contradiction, according to data from the Department of Homeland Security is that his budget-shrinking bill — he calls it “Limit, Save, Grow” — would in the process of shrinking the budget waylay security at the border.
While the Biden administration has sent active duty troops to the border with Title 42 expiring, McCarthy’s plan would do the opposite, according to DHS, including cutting 2,400 Customs and Border Patrol Agents.
The U.S. border is not open to illegal or irregular migration and U.S. immigration laws will be tougher as the Title 42 public health Order ends.— Homeland Security (@DHSgov) May 10, 2023
Five things to know about the U.S. immigration system ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/TFfYuwkf11
McCarthy proposed generally capping 2024’s discretionary spending at 2022 levels with certain exceptions, rendering the unexcepted portions particularly vulnerable to even harder funding hits.
In a letter to Ranking Member of the Appropriations Committee, Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro, DHS’s Zephranie Buetow enumerates the national security turmoil invited by the kinds of cuts McCarthy’s plan contemplates..
DHS writes: “The entire Department and the critical services we provide would be impacted, including but not limited to the following:
- A reduction in CBP frontline law enforcement staffing levels of up to 2,400 agents and officers;
- A reduction in our Department’s ability to prevent drugs from entering the country;
- Cuts in federal assistance to state, local, tribal, territorial, and private sector partners for disaster preparedness; and
- Reductions in TSA personnel that would result in wait times in excess of 2 hours at large airports across the country.”