Guy Benson: Joining me now live here on the show it is House Minority Whip Congressman Steve Scalise a Republican of Louisiana. Congressman it is so good to talk to you again. Welcome back to the show.
Rep. Scalise: Guy It’s great to be back with you. Thanks for having me.
Guy Benson: I want to play some audio for you from the Speaker of the House on the border crisis and get your reaction. I want to just play back to back cut 1 and cut 3. Here’s Pelosi talking about the trumps the Trump administration’s policy quote “scaring the children” and then saying that people being deported for just entering the country illegally is not a reason for deportation. Listen to this.
Pelosi Audio Clip: So when I spoke to the president I said look I’m a mom. I have five kids seven nine grandchildren. Children are scared. You’re scaring the children of America not just in those families but their neighbors and their communities. You’re scaring the children. So that is really kind of what happened. He didn’t say what he was going to do but he’s the president said oh you know I’ll let you know when into well people broke the law. I think that is a violation of status is not a reason for deportation. That’s just not so.
Guy Benson: Congressman your reaction to I don’t know what to make of those answers frankly.
Rep. Scalise: Where do you even go with that I mean people are being scared over the fact that we don’t have a secure border and every single day on average we’re seeing three 4000 people coming across our border illegally. Those are just the ones that we catch Guy. And right now you’ve also got a humanitarian crisis. You know you want to talk about children. There are over 300 children every single day that our Border Patrol agents are seeing come across the border in many cases being abused by these coyotes that are being paid to bring them over they’re being abused. They’re being sent back again over and over again and many are coming back sick and the money that right now is being spent to take care of these kids is running out to take care of the basic health needs. President Trump over a month ago asked Speaker Pelosi to pass a supplemental spending bill to give more money to take care of those children and she won’t do it. She won’t take care of those kids. And there are literally about to go into a government shutdown at this section of HHS and won’t have any money to take care of their kids our Border Patrol agents right now Guy are spending their own dollars out of their own pocket to buy diapers for these kids. And Speaker Pelosi won’t pass the bill to put the money back in place. So what is she trying to accomplish with this. She needs to stop scaring these kids that are literally about to have their health care needs not being taken care of because they’re running out of money and she won’t send the money to take care of them.
Guy Benson: Congressman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez from the other side of the aisle who has a lot of sway in that caucus and she represents a significant portion of Pelosi’s caucus. She said that the current border crisis quote is not due to a lack of resources it’s due to a an active desire by this administration to hurt kids. She went on to say that the House should stop funding all funding for the detention of children under quote any and all circumstances. I feel like it’s very difficult to imagine a positive solution if there is any significant number of House Democrats who think that this is not a resources problem and that the U.S. government shouldn’t be detaining kids under any circumstances.
Rep. Scalise: Well Guy first AOC and anybody else who thinks that way ought to go down to the border right now and see exactly what’s going on and talk to our border patrol agents. These are men and women who are risking their lives to keep our country safe and to secure our border. And maybe they don’t have any respect for those folks. Maybe they want to get rid of ICE and we’ve heard some of them say they want to eliminate ICE. ICE by the way who’s saved thousands of young children from sexual assault and human trafficking. It’s real it’s happening at our border. They bring drugs across the drug dealers do. But they also assault young women on a regular basis and they send human trafficking. They send these young girls through the border illegally. And President Trump is trying to stop it. And they don’t want to give him the money to take care of these young kids and look going back to what Speaker Pelosi said. The people that the president is talking about sending back to their country are the people who came here illegally. They got a court date. They claimed asylum because there’s major loopholes our asylum laws are being so abused. That’s the biggest magnet that’s drawing thousands of people illegally every single day here. We need to fix those. Pelosi and AOC don’t want to fix the asylum laws but they come here and they get a court date and the court dates five years from now. Guy So five years from now they’re allowed to go to court to state their case of why they want to be an American citizen and they lose the court case the judge says that they don’t belong here. And over. 85 percent of the cases by the way they don’t even show up for court. They just skip the court case so they’re allowed under current law the chance to go and tell the judge why they’re seeking asylum why they should be allowed into America and they don’t even go to the court case hearing. And so the judge says OK you’re not allowed to be here. We’re rejecting your application. And those are the ones that President Trump saying OK if they if the courts have ruled after five years the courts ruled you shouldn’t be here. You filed a bogus claim. Then what is Pelosi wanted to give him a voting card? Maybe so but that’s not what President Trump ran on. That’s not what most people in America want. They don’t want open borders they don’t want people who not only ignored our laws when they came here illegally but then five years later skipped the court date and the judge says you you lost you lost your case. Any anybody in America who’s an American citizen who has a case before a judge if the judge rules that you. You have to go to jail. You committed a crime. Guess what happens immediately you go to jail you don’t get to just disappear into the interior of our country. And yet that’s what’s happening with thousands of people every single day. I mean it’s happening daily weekly and every month. President Trump wants to get secure security over this border. I do too I also want to make sure we got the funding to take care of these young kids and for whatever reasons Speaker Pelosi and AOC don’t want to approve that funding.
Guy Benson: So you’ve got this 4.5 billion dollar request in the White House which has been endorsed by The New York Times editorial board of all people.
Rep. Scalise: That doesn’t happen often.
Guy Benson: No it’s very rare. They’re saying give Trump the money he want is for good necessary reasons I’ve quoted from that editorial I wrote about it at town hall. The Senate appears poised to do exactly that pass a very bipartisan bill for that amount of money. The problem is over in your neck of the woods in the House the Democrats there’s all these stories about how Pelosi is trying to figure out if she has the votes to pass a much more partisan much more permissive version of this bill with all sorts of strings attached. If it comes down to the point where she has an insurrection on her left from the AOC wing would House Republicans be willing to provide Speaker Pelosi with the votes to pass what would probably be the Senate bill.
Guy Benson: In your opinion.
Rep. Scalise: Guy. I think we’re at a point now right. Well first of all where Speaker Pelosi has got a real test. She’s got to prove whether or not she’s lost control of her conference or not. And I think that’s a serious question. If they can’t pass a basic bill to not this isn’t even we’re not talking about Wall funding we’re not talking about fixing the asylum. We’re talking about not just giving these kids money if she can’t pass that. Look the Senate passed their bill 30 to 1 out of committee and it’s not the ideal bill. There’s things I would change about it, but the President said that he can work with that. That gives him a lot of the tools he needs just to at least avoid the crisis. At this point we’re talking about the imminent shutdown in the agency that takes care of kids. We shouldn’t let that happen. So yes we would provide the votes to help get that bill passed to the president’s desk because the president said he’d sign it. He can’t sign a bill that’s got a bunch of poison pills that tells our Department of Defense officials or are or are border security agents that they can’t do their job. You can’t put poison pills on a bill like that. And the President surely can’t sign that. And so Pelosi needs to stop playing games reckoned that look when Barack Obama was President Guy he asked us there was a similar crisis. And the president asked President Obama as the Republican majority at the time if he would if we would approve money to take care of a similar humanitarian crisis in 24 days we passed a bill out of the House to solve the crisis but we didn’t put poison pills in it. We said you know what. We disagree with you on a lot of things even on immigration. But on this on just taking care of kids we’re gonna give you the money because it’s the right thing to do. This is still the right thing to do. But just because it’s President Trump Democrats especially Pelosi and the far left socialists in our party don’t want to approve the money because they’re not willing to help those kids because they just don’t like President Trump. Maybe it’s time they get beyond this. People are sick of this kind of personal petty politics.
Guy Benson: And you mentioned poison pills. There are poison pills in the Democrats bill in the House including this one they are meant to tell families that their kids won’t be affected by deportations and that sort of thing it just would add to the perverse incentives that I’ve been talking about basically for the whole show today. But it’s not clear that Pelosi has the votes even for that bill because there’s a lot of people on her side that don’t want to give a single dime to any of this because of their political reasons. We’ll see what happens over on the Senate side and see if maybe some of the pressure ramps up here if the Senate passes something with a big bipartisan vote. I do want to circle back briefly to your point Congress. About fixing asylum laws because to me all of these sort of lurching from crisis to crisis you mentioned the 2014 one under President Obama. There’s this new one now under Trump trying to put bandaids on the situation once they arise. I’m in favor of making it better. No question. But the underlying problems remain. And I wonder now with divided government. Apparently for now unable to even do the easy thing right. Hit the ball off the tee on something everyone should agree on. Why would any rational person believe that Congress is capable of actually doing the harder work of solving the fundamental questions and flaws that exists in this current broken system.
Rep. Scalise: Well I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. I mean this is the easiest thing to do. You’re just voting to take care of kids in dire need. And regardless of what you think about the president shouldn’t you at least be willing to vote to take care of the kids and they’re not. And so yeah the bigger issue even Mexican officials have told us because they’re trying to help us right now get control of the border. The Mexican officials have said the asylum laws that are broken in America are the magnet that are bringing so many of these thousands of people every single day across our border. Some of them are coming across Mexico’s southern border. And so at least Mexico worked with President Trump recently to put a few thousand agents of their own border or their own National Guard at the southern border of Mexico and it’s already having a positive impact it’s helping to slow this tide. I talked to the homeland security secretary just yesterday about this and he said he’s seen about a 20 percent drop in the illegals coming over already just because Mexico’s doing more to help secure their southern border. But it’s our broken laws that are being this magnet that are drawn people. And if Pelosi’s for open borders they ought to just come out and admit it stop hiding behind these children and all of these crazy statements and AOC talking about concentration camps. Ludicrous insulting statements like that and just acknowledge that they therefore open borders. They don’t believe in are in an open immigration system that’s based on rule of law because we need to get back to the rule of law. Most Americans by the way they appreciate the richness of America’s immigration system with over a million people in our country every single year legally but we now have a broken legal system.
Guy Benson: A million. I just want to underscore that million 1 million people every year in legal immigration.
Rep. Scalise: Think I know other country is close. You know nobody can say that we’re closing our borders that we’re shutting out the world. We let in more people legally into our country every year than any other country in the world by hundreds of thousands by far. But we but they believe in rule of law. Those countries also have their own laws. We have laws you’ve got to respect our laws if you want to be a part of what makes this country great. We want people to come here the right way to be a part of what’s great about this country. By the way we need to not only get rid of this this broken asylum law that doesn’t work that magnets people over here. We also need to get rid of the visa lottery when President Trump’s talked about this where ever you would pluck 55,000 names out of a hat randomly from all around the world including countries who don’t like us. And in the meantime we’re educating some of the smartest people at some of the best universities in America in engineering and computer science and medicine and then at the end of their educational process we forced them to leave America. And in many cases to to compete against us and they would love to stay in America and contribute to the greatness of this country. We’ve congressman to leave and we pull 55000 names out of a hat. We’ve got to fix this broken system.
Guy Benson: Congressman totally agree with you I know you only have a little bit of time left. I think you’ve got votes coming up two years now it’s been since you were shot on that baseball practice field. Tomorrow is the congressional baseball game. Briefly if you would reflect I assume you’ll be out there playing on Team GOP reflect on what that means to you upcoming tomorrow guy.
Rep. Scalise: It’s just such a special feeling to be able to get back out there on the ball field. I’ll be out there. I think they said I’m to be the starting the the opening batter to to lead off the game. But let’s just to be able to put the uniform on walk I don’t know until a big league field win two years ago I was literally almost you know almost not alive and fighting for my life and barely made it but thank God. Miracles and heroes to to get me to this point so that I can still get get back in the game as they say.
Guy Benson: Yeah. No it’s it’s very exciting and we’ll be pulling for you. God bless you. House Minority Whip Congressman Steve Scalise of Louisiana a friend of the show Congressman thank you so much.
Rep. Scalise: Thanks so much. I appreciate you having me.