House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) joined Fox News Radio's Guy Benson to discuss a potential government shutdown, criminal justice reform, and more.
On where things stand on a potential government shutdown: Well, Schumer clearly wants a shutdown. We want to secure America's border and that's really what the fight is all about. You know, in the House we've been working real close with the president. I want to see the president get the full request that he has, five billion dollars to secure the border, including building the wall. We have the number other moving parts and so we were watching the White House negotiations. The president's been trying to work in good faith on getting an agreement and if he reaches one then that's when we'll move, but short of that you know what I think we're talking about is looking at the 5 billion dollar proposal with the other items that haven't been funded, but still a lot of negotiations going on so it's premature to say what we will vote on this week. But, we're coming back to DC and working with the White House to try to get some of these negotiations to a point where we can get the president what he needs to secure the border. (2:49)
On why they had a five day recess before a potential shutdown: There are high level negotiations going on. It's not like no works being done. The White House has been negotiating and you can see it play out from the House Republican, Democrat, Senate leaders. So everybody is negotiating to try to find an agreement and if we have an agreement we're going to be in D.C. voting on bills tomorrow. We're going to be in D.C. voting on bills Thursday. If we have an agreement we'll vote on that. If we don't there's still other legislation that we can move to allow the president to secure the border. So when we get a word we're going to be there working, but in the meantime negotiations have been going on for weeks now. (3:58)
On if they can pass the five billion out of the House: We can pass whatever it is that the president ultimately agrees is what he needs. We're working to give the president the tools he needs. It's the Department of Homeland Security's budget that we're talking about. And all of this whether it's the wall funding, border patrol agents right now are under attack by people in this caravan. I talked to Homeland Secretary Nielsen. They've identified more than 600 convicted criminals in this caravan and you saw it a couple weeks ago they were literally attacking her border patrol agents. (5:20)
On criminal justice reform bill: I would imagine it comes to the House by the end of this week and I would be fairly confident that it gets to the President's desk. I haven't seen the final series of amendments. I know Senator Cotton was working on a number of amendments that I liked the sound of the Amendments he was talking about offering. They haven't decided yet which amendments are going to be offered on the Senate floor, but once the Senate passes the bill obviously we will take a look at it. (7:09)
On what is most worried about with Democratic majority next year: The most important thing House Republicans need to do is protect the gains that we've made working with President Trump to get this economy back on track. When President Trump ran there were some very specific things he talked about, clearly securing the border, building the wall or rebuilding our military, which we've been able to do, cutting taxes to get our economy back on track, which we've been able to do, and rebuilding our defense, which we've done. I don't want to see us go backwards on any of those items... I think the biggest thing we can do in the next few years is to show the difference between us and them. Show what conservatism really means and why it can actually benefit and improve the lives of hard-working families and contrast it with the liberal agenda. (8:35)