Kinzinger Leads House in Support of CBP Agents
Last night, Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) led the House Floor debate in support of a Motion to Recommit that would amend H.R. 3239 and affirm the support of Congress for the hard work of our U.S. Border Patrol agents working at the CBP agencies.
Washington, DC – Last night, Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) led the House Floor debate in support of a Motion to Recommit that would amend H.R. 3239 and affirm the support of Congress for the hard work of our U.S. Border Patrol agents working at the CBP agencies.
The Motion to Recommit passed the House with a vote of 239 – 192, and marks the fourth procedural win by House Republicans to amend Democrat-led legislation. The full text of this Motion to Recommit can be found attached and online, and the Congressman’s floor speech can be found below and on his YouTube page.
The full speech as written can be found transcribed below:
"Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This Motion to Recommit is simple. It affirms this chamber’s appreciation of and support for the men and women of the United States Border Patrol.
"We in this Chamber know we can debate and disagree all day, every day – and we have more than enough issues to argue about on a regular basis. But this institution makes the laws, we pass the laws, and we expect those laws to be carried out faithfully.
"This motion to recommit today is about recognizing the men and women of our U.S. Border Patrol, who carry out the very laws we passed, for their hard work and dedication.
"Without question, we are facing a crisis on our southern border and as such, our CBP facilities are overcrowded and overwhelmed, and lacking the resources or personnel, our CBP agents are overworked.
"And I can tell you this because I went and saw it firsthand. I didn’t go in a windbreaker to get a photo-op, or start a livestream to score political points. I went as a lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard on a deployment mission to the Arizona border.
"For me, going to Arizona with my unit in late February was a welcomed respite from the bitter cold of Illinois… but what I saw truly opened my eyes to the crisis at hand and the shortcomings our CBP agents face with their limited resources.
"This was my fourth deployment with the Air Guard, and my first under President Trump.
"Yes, that means that my other three border mission deployments came under President Obama, who also saw the crisis at the border and the dire humanitarian concerns with families sending their children on such an arduous journey.
"In February, I watched from above as border agents struggled on foot to thwart border crossings as migrant groups would systematically stagger their attempts to run and cross the open border.
"My fellow Guardsmen shared their accounts of agents giving their last water bottles to dehydrated migrants, risking their own health to help those in need.
"While my mission was in the nice weather of February, today it’s pretty hot out in the desert. Yet these agents are still expected—by their oath and the direction of the laws of this body—to walk miles through terrible terrain that cannot be accessed by vehicle.
"They’re often met with a foot chase, sometimes with multiple people or with dangerous cartel members. Sometimes this happens at the end of a shift, meaning they later will have to call home and tell their loved ones they won’t be home to tuck the kids in bed or say goodnight, because duty calls.
"I listened to defeated CBP agents talk about the emotional and physical toll this crisis was taking on them and their families, as they grappled with the impossible tasks at hand. And more than one mentioned the toxic rhetoric used in describing them, in terms we reserve for our enemies.
"I saw the compassion in a CBP agent during one of my missions, as he helped the young woman we found in the desert to safety after she was left for dead by her drug cartel coyotes….because they got “spooked” and ran. These coyotes work for the cartels, and these cartels make money on two products: drugs, and even more sadly, people. Human lives are viewed as commodities to them.
"This is what I saw firsthand; this is what I experienced with the hardworking men and women working our border.
"And it’s true. The CBP has effectuated over 3,800 migrant rescues so far this fiscal year, risking their own lives to save others. You remove the CBP? YOU WILL COST LIVES. Maybe people don’t want to believe it, maybe it doesn’t fit a narrative, but it’s an undeniable FACT.
"We have placed an unprecedented burden on our CBP agents, asking them to handle some really tough things, and for that, they’ve recently been villainized.
"The CBP facilities were not designed as long-term (or even short-term) shelters for families or unaccompanied children, and the resources to accommodate and handle this influx are incredibly limited.
"If this Congress cannot agree to provide these agents legislative relief, the least we can do is affirm our appreciation for their work and condemn the attacks made against them.
"Agreeing to this motion to recommit will not impact the passage of this bill. Voting in favor of this MTR will not kill the bill we’re voting on here today.
"Today, what we have, is an opportunity to unite. This institution must leave the politics aside and take this time to recognize the mothers and fathers, the brothers and sisters, the sons and daughters, the husbands and wives, our neighbors and the constituents we serve – the men and women of our U.S. Border Patrol working in the CBP facilities every day.
"Let’s show our support by rising above the fray of political rhetoric and vote in favor of this Motion to Recommit."