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Mitch McConnell
  Senate Republican Leaders News Conference  CSPAN  January 15, 2019 8:01pm-8:15pm EST

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work with doing what were doing. >> and you find out the vote? >> [inaudible] [inaudible conversations] >> if you missed attorney general nominee william barr confirmation hearing you can watch it tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span 52 of his confirmation hearing begins at 9:30 a.m. eastern live on c-span3. >> tonight on c-span2 centimeters talk to capitol hill reporters about the shutdown in its 25th day. washington state governor
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delivers his annual state of the state address. the british house of commons vote against an agreement with the eu on brexit. senate leaders spoke to reporters at the capital following party conference meetings will begin leader mitch mcconnell and democratic leader chuck schumer discussed their positions on the government shutdown and the president's demand for border wall funding. this is half hour. >> you heard our democratic colleagues for days they there should not be any set of business while the government is shut down even though in previous government shutdowns the senate was quite busy. doing nominations and passing legislation and the rest. i gather we will discover today that it's okay to do business if you are dealing with a trump administration regulation but it is not okay to do business to overwhelmingly supported israel bill and a jordan bill and a
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theory of bill and a package that we have been trying to get through now through three different votes to get on the bill to go forward. clearly the democrats priorities are way out of whack here. way out of whack. you see that also related to border security and things that they all supported in the past, every prominent democrat they now opposed. i would say it's a little bit of a challenging beginning to the new year but we will work our way through it. >> on the issue of the government shutdown the one thing we all know is the democrats used to be for homeland or border security and used to be concerned about defending and protecting american borders and the
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evidence is pretty clear that the they have long records that show that going back to 2006 when every democrat voted for a 700-mile fence, including at that time, then senators obama and clinton and biden. then you also had in 2013 every democrat vote to complete a 700-mile fence in support $46 billion and 8 billion of which was specifically to be a barrier. as recently as last year i think all but three democrats, 46 out of 49, voted once again for $25 million for border security and so the question is why have they all of a sudden flipped flopped on this issue? the answer is clear. this is now an idea that comes from president trump and democrats clearly don't want to give the president a victory on this issue. they have argued that we ought
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to be voting on these things and as the leader has pointed out until we have something that can pass and the president will sign into law it seems like all the shenanigans the democrats are trying to pull are simply that. if you look back at what was said not that long ago chuck schumer said in december in order to bring up a bill on the floor and have it voted on it would need to be one the president had publicly committed to support and there were 60 votes in the senate. he said we should not have a vote to all four leaders in the house and senate had agreed. no vote on any legislative proposal in either chamber until that happens. we agreed with that and we think it's important for the democrats and the president to sit down and negotiate a compromise that come together and get the government funded and open again and address the issues that are
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huge priority for our country, security at our border. >> we are now in the fourth week of a shutdown of a portion of our government and the issue is border security and if the southern border were a patient in the hospital that patient would be in need of critical care, treatment and yet the democrats would be refusing to allow treatment to take place. the long history of this in a crisis at the border is known in president obama called it a crisis and that was fine when president trump calls it a crisis he's ridiculed by the democrats. we know barriers work. we have 300 miles of barriers already and we know in areas where there are barriers that they been effective at stopping people from coming across the border at those areas. those people look to other places to come across so barriers are effective it principle as he called the barrier immoral. to me what is immoral is not
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securing the southern border. it is not protecting the american people and keeping our border in our country secure. >> on that topic, the president who is not well known for flexibility has clearly been more flexible here than the other side. he's taken a campaign discussion about a wall along the border and continued to look for ways that you can secure the border in whatever way you need to secure the border. my colleagues talked about how long this has been the barrier part has been part of what you've done as a country and bush 41 i think built the first substantial barrier south of san diego in 1992 and attentions went down 95%. president clinton built a barrier in el paso in the mid- 90s but the tensions went down 95% president bush 43 built a wall in yuma and they went down
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90%. when you have a 90, 95% solution where it make sense that is exactly the kind of solution the american people would expect you to have. let me say one at a time, no one will have more credibility than the president if he is ever in a position where he can say the border is under a level of control that the american people should expect their government to provide. when he says that all the other discussions related to this will be much more easily solved. one of the real workforce needs of the country and what you do with people who came or stayed illegally? easiest issue of all to solve and what do people who grew up here and have not got into serious trouble and all that is easier to solve the american people think that the government has done it legitimate job and used its response ability to secure the border. the president is trying to do
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that in a way the president before him since the 1990s has tried to do it and it's time for the democrats to be where they had been on this issue many of them in the congress since the 1990s and have totally reversed their position. if 700 miles of all is fine then 702 miles is not immoral. it's a ridiculous place to have that selective morality of just what you decide is not moral because someone else wants to do it. >> thank you thank you leader and chairman. make no mistake about it there is a humanitarian crisis at our border. we have tens of thousands of people that come to our border every month and they are in it and illegal immigrants and it is not just about our southern border but it is about every community in every town in the
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united states and it is a human trafficking and it is about illegal weapons modeling and it is about illegal drugs. the majority of the methamphetamine lands on our iowa doorstep and affects our iowa family comes from our southern border. it comes through mexico. we need to secure our border. there is no doubt about it. what we have seen in recent weeks are the democrats and they are stopping movement on the floor and trying to shut the senate down and we have a package in front of us that would reassure our allies in the middle east and it is very important that we have that done but the senate republicans are refusing to do that. i think we have to get through this impasse but it is time that the democrats start working with us, not against us.
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i want to emphasize that we do have a crisis and i urge the democrats to come forward and help us solve this now. thank you. >> as the united states marine who was spent several months during the clinton years on our southern border and as a senator i still maintain a deep conviction we need to secure that border. why? the president for the best. this is a humanitarian crisis and it would be a security crisis and unfortunately democrats have turned this into a binary moral issue and months ago they supported securing our southern border and we can open up the government and we should open up the government immediately. it will just require compromise on the part of the democratic leadership working with this president. >> what would you tell the government worker in kentucky
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that the united states [inaudible]? >> i would tell them is that the solution to the problem is for the president of the united states and the only person of the 330 million of us who can sign something into law reaches an agreement with the democratic majority in the house and enough democrats in the senate to prevent an agreement. there is no way around that. having shoveled in the senate does not solve the problem. >> can i follow-up? the way around that would be if you are willing to do something that would override [inaudible] >> in a situation like this where the president, in my view, is in my place try to get the right outcome with regard to border security, of course not. >> you and senator ernst have [inaudible] [inaudible]
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>> look, it's been a practice for the last couple of years not to make random observations about the president tweeting and other things. senator and congressman king clearly uttered words that are unacceptable in america today and i want to commend leader mccarthy and house republicans for the actions they took. it was entirely appropriate. >> how long do you think the shutdown will continue? [inaudible] >> we will not be a recess next week if the government is still shut down. >> to your point about congressman king and why now? this is someone who settings of this nature for several years?
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>> i have not been following every utterance of congressman king and it may surprise you but i followed this one. i think the house republicans conference did the right thing. thank you. >> i would say that there have been comments in the past and i have pushed back against those comments and will not support them. i rebuked him heavily with the latest absolute disgusting comments. they can continue and we will not be a nation divided. we have got to come together and we cannot tolerate that type of rhetoric. >> [inaudible] >> he's elected or presented it from the fourth district and i trust that the folks from iowa in the fourth district will make the correct choice moving forward.