Congressman Matt Gaetz Calls Out Democrats in Judiciary Committee by Playing Back Their Own Words on Southern Border Humanitarian Crisis

July 11, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz (FL-01) attended a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee, where he revealed Democrats’ changing positions on the humanitarian crisis at America’s southern border.

During today’s hearing, Rep. Gaetz played the audio from a January 9, 2019, CNN interview with Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC-06). In the interview, Mr. Clyburn was asked: “Is there a humanitarian crisis on the southern border?” Mr. Clyburn responded with a dismissive chuckle, and stated “absolutely not.”

Earlier this year, President Donald Trump and the Department of Homeland Security both insisted that a humanitarian crisis on the southern border existed, and that resources were needed to address it. Republicans in Congress, including Rep. Gaetz, were eager to pass legislation to address the crisis. Unfortunately, Democrats denied that a crisis even existed.

Democrats in Congress are now saying that there is indeed a humanitarian crisis on the southern border. This sudden change has prompted many, including Rep. Gaetz, to ask why they reversed their position, and whether they will commit to passing bipartisan legislation to solve this critical problem facing America, Mexico, and migrants from Central and South America.

The transcript and video can be found below.

 

TRANSCRIPT

 

REP. GAETZ: The gentlelady from Texas in her prior claim of time said it was “offensive” to assert that Democrats were in denial about the crisis on the border. I would invite my Democratic colleagues to go to my official Twitter account where I have posted an interview from January 9th, 2019, it was on CNN, not exactly a hostile network for you folks, and it’s, well, let me just play what the question was and it’s Jim Clyburn, the Democratic whip, answering the question.


***AUDIO PLAYING ON REP. GAETZ’S PHONE***


CNN: “The President said there is a humanitarian crisis at the border. Is there?”

MAJORITY WHIP CLYBURN: “Absolutely not.”

 

CNN: “The President said there is a humanitarian crisis at the border. Is there?”

MAJORITY WHIP CLYBURN: “Absolutely not.”

 

CNN: “The President said there is a humanitarian crisis at the border. Is there?”

MAJORITY WHIP CLYBURN: “Absolutely not.”

 

CNN: “The President said there is a humanitarian crisis at the border. Is there?”

MAJORITY WHIP CLYBURN: “Absolutely not.”

 

CNN: “The President said there is a humanitarian crisis at the border. Is there?”

MAJORITY WHIP CLYBURN: “Absolutely not.”

 

REP. DEAN (interjects): “Point of order?”

 

CNN: “The President said there is a humanitarian crisis at the border. Is there?”

CLYBURN: “Absolutely not.”

 

REP. DEAN: “Just, I guess it’s a parliamentary inquiry. Is it appropriate for a Member to just put on a loop, a teeny soundbite out of context? Is that allowed?

 

REP. NADLER: “The gentleman controls the time I’m not aware of any rule that would preclude him from doing so.”

 

REP. DEAN: “Thank you.”

 

REP. GAETZ: “Thank you, I think I still control the time.

 

And I just think that’s quite something…that when you’re fed back your own words from your own leadership from earlier this year, you think that’s out of context and inappropriate and not allowed again, we didn’t raise the issue! It was the gentlelady from Texas that said ‘these allegations from Republicans that we were in denial -they’re offensive. We’ve always known of the crisis.’ And the Democratic Whip laughed! ‘Absolutely not.’ Laughed. Thought it was laughable. Thought it was funny.

 

You know who doesn’t think it’s funny? The Trump administration because Secretary McAleenan has been ringing the warning bell for months about the crisis, he begged you all to take action more quickly.

 

One of the reasons why so many young people, so many vulnerable people are in tragic conditions is because we didn’t act when the administration wanted us to provide funding that was absolutely necessary to care for people. And so it is appropriate to question why we are in these conditions. But it wasn’t the Republicans that were in denial. It was all of you, and it was in your own words from your own leadership. Be offended with the Democratic Whip, not House Republicans. I yield back.”

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