tv U.S. Senate Sen. Cornyn on Israel Bill Government Shutdown CSPAN January 9, 2019 8:24am-8:38am EST
need all of their federal government reopened, i would urge our democratic colleagues to get past these harmful political games and get serious about negotiating with the president. >> mr. president, today the senate will vote toeg begin consideration of legislation that will address some of the seemingly never ending challenges the world including the united states is facing in the middle east. the decision made at the beginning of the 20th century by then first lord of the admiralty winston churchill to convert british ships from coal toto oil fuel change world histy by making access to the middle east oil reserves and national security imperative for all developed nations. more recently on 9/11, 2001 when nearly 3000 americans lost their lives in the terrorist attack directed from afghanistan, on
new york's world trade center and the pentagon, we learned a hard lesson, thatn though separated by an ocean, what happens in the region does not stay in the region. finally, with the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the nuclear aspirations of iran, the number one state sponsor of terrorism in the world, to attain them, the relative stability and security of the middle east has a direct connection to our national security as was that of our allies like israel. with the administration recent announcement that use will begin withdrawing troops from syria, this debate and these votes could not be more timely. while i'm comforted by the national security advisers john brings region statement that the withdrawal from syria the conditions based, precise details of how and when it will be executed remain to be seen. one thing, however, iss perfecty
clear. we cannot allow the creation of a power vacuum in the middle east to bolster our adversaries influence in the region. and that's precisely what this legislation addresses. the strengthening american security in the east act to incorporate four bipartisan noncontroversial bills that were newly enacted last year, but the clock on the 115th congress ran out on december 31. as we begin what hope will be another productive year in the senate, i'm glad we will have a chance to vote on this legislation. our national interests demand that we fully support and interest the security of israel, our closest ally in the region. as a majority leader said last week, this bill affirms that the u.s. needs to do more than just talk the talk. we must also walk the walk to support israel's security. this legislation will help
israel maintain a qualitative military edge against ongoing threats by authorizing military assistance and allowing the transfer of equipment and defensive weapons. importantly, we will also assist israel and in counting the threat of unmanned aerial vehicles deployed by iran in particular. in addition to supporting israel it will empower state and local governments in the united states to counter the anti-israel boycott sanctions movement, better known as bds, and it's discriminatory economic warfare against the jewish state. in addition to nurturing our relationship with israel the bill also recognize the importance of supporting jordan, another key regional ally. authorizes legislation to strengthen our defense cooperation and support jordan is response to the overwhelming humanitarian crisis caused by the syrian civil war.
according to the united nations there are more than 740,000 refugees in jordan. that equates to 89 refugees per 100,000 -- next tuesday, per thousand inhabitants, , making them the second ice refugee host nation per capita in the world. the impact of the crisis in syria is immense and potentially destabilizing and requires our support to maintain the peace. finally this bill takes critical steps to address the ongoing war and you managing crisis in syria by providing aid to impacted communities and condemns the heinous human rights violations committed by the murders aside regime. until this horrendous conflict is resolved, new sanctions will be imposed on anyone who supports syria either financially or militarily. it is true that this bill will not solve all, the problems in
the middle east. it will not, for example, provide justice to the innocent civilians killed by the assad regime. it will not rebuild the communities treated as collateral damage throughout this crisis, but it is a step to ensure our allies are prepared to fight for and defend our shared national security interests. senate democrats have indicated unfortunately that are likely to block this legislation from coming to the floor as their discussions with the president on border f security funding remains at an impasse. leader mcconnell has made it clear this thing will not waste time holding show votes on legislation if the president will not sign. so we continue to wait for speaker pelosi and minority leader schumer to take serious, credible action to break that impasse. until that time there's a lot of work we can and should do, such on this legislation which will protect our national security interests in the middle east.
25% 25% of our government has already been shut down, mr. president, because of this impasse. i urge our democratic colleagues in the senate not to shut down the work of the senate, too. i want to thank the majority leader for scheduling this important debate and vote, at a look for to voting yes when the time comes. >> mr. president, as a mention of this partial government shutdown continues now in its 18th day, but 18 days in, not much has changed. the newly elected democratic house refuse to come to the negotiating table with a serious offer or to negotiate in good faith. this entire debate has been surreal. i would say it's been a joke, but it's really not funny. it's now degenerated into a game of silly semantics, while losing sight of just how much is at stake for the people affected. a secure and private border is
critical to the the state in te livelihood of our entire country, and it is of course the place vital -- especially those who live and work in the border region. if you visit el paso, for example, out west you will see firsthand how interconnected the city is with its neighbor juarez. mexico is literally on the other side of the international bridge. each day at that single port of entry an average of 20,000 people cross the border on foot legally, going to work,ol goingo school, visiting friends and family, or shopping. that's in addition to the 35,000 car crossings and the 2500 cargo trucks that cross each day just at the el paso port of entry. i often compare the united states and mexico to an old married couple that have occasional differences, but who
can't get divorced. we depend on one another and we depend on a safe, secure, and both countries to live in harmony. but not everyone or everything attempted to cross the border is in our country's best interest. transnational criminals, drug smugglers, human traffickers, they try to take avenge of any opportunity, any gaps in a the border, and use it to infiltrate, threaten, and endanger ourn, communities. for too long our frontline officers and agents have a not d the tools and resources they need to do their job. whether it's outdated infrastructure, personal shortages or technology, the fact remains we need additional border security funding to empower these hard-working officers and agents to complete their m mission. at both the ports of entry and entry. those ports of after talking to the experts,
border patrol officials in texas as well as local stakeholders, i introduce legislation in the fall of 2017 to address a number of their concerns. that legislation called the building america's trust act would authorize approximately $15 billion over four years for a long-term border security and interior enforcement strategy. notably, the bill had a great deal of discretion for the department of homeland security expert on the ground to determine what tactics were needed and where. as my friend, former chief manny padilla, formerly chief of the border patrols rio grande valley sector once told to come he said the answer to border security from the border patrols perspective is finding the right balance of three things -- personnel, technology, and infrastructure. now the landscape along the u.s.-mexico border, particularly the 1200 miles common border
between mexico and texas, the geography varies significantly. so there is no one size fits all solutionts to border security, d that's what it's important to listen and learn from law-enforcement and key stakeholders on how to adapt the right mix to each area. that way we can ensure we are deploying the most effective and practical solutions to achieve operational control along the southern border. yes, we need physical infrastructure in places, a fence, a wall, a vehicle barrier, for example, because the hard-working agents and officers on the ground tell us that it works and would benefit from more of them. but we also need personnel to enforce the laws along the border and mature ventura portf entry are operating efficientlyn and yes, we need technology, things like scanners to scan for drugs that are embedded in
shipments to come across the border. we need drones and radar and sensors to help maximize border security as well as have access to the rio grande or border patrol agent so they can police the border for illegal entry. now, , this should be a partisan debate, and historically our differences on the topic have not been so polarized. i think the nature of our political system today makes it easy to forget that not too long ago border security was actually something supported by both political parties. in 2006 the senate passed the secure fence act by a vote of 80-19. that's what i would call a bipartisan victory. among those who voted for that bill include many current and former leaders of the democratic party, including minority leader chuck schumer, then senator barack obama, event senator hillary clinton. they didn't believe that fences
and walls and physical barriers were immoral, as a frequent speaker at the house of representatives does. not only did theti legislation calls for more than 800 miles of fencing along the u.s.-mexican border, it also authorized the other important components of border security that i talked id about, things like technology and personnel. that was in 2006. in 2013 more recently all 54 democratic senators voted for $46 billion in border security, every single one. and now resident trump's request for $5 billion is somehow a nonstarter. the border security economic opportunity and immigration modernization act provided funding for yes infrastructure, personnel and technology that's exactly the right mix that she padilla mentioned that i refer to a moment ago.
pics of these are really the same types of issues we're talking about today. these are not radical ideas. we need a sensible combination of physical barriers, technology and personnel. my democratic colleagues support abortedy security during the buh administration, they supported for security and the obama administration. and now i would urge them to come to the table with a serious proposal to help secure e our border and in this standoff and to stop the t foolishness and te political games. mr. president, i used the four. >> mr. president? >> senator from maryland. >> thank you, mr. president. first i want to thank my colleague from virginia, senator kaine for bringing us together this evening on the floor of the senate to talk about the urgent need to in the government shut down because the mounting toll it's taking on