By Justin Sink
President Obama should go see the humanitarian crisis developing on the southern border, the House Democrat leading the party’s effort to target Republican-held seats in the upcoming midterm elections said in an interview published Wednesday.
“I have to tell you, I'm much more of a hands-on person,” Edwards said. “So, for me, visiting the border would make sense in terms of my ability to make decisions. People do things differently.”
The president will arrive in Texas on Wednesday for a two-day fundraising trip, but White House officials say he does not plan to visit the border while there. Instead, he’ll attend a meeting with local officials, faith leaders and Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) in Dallas, where they’ll discuss humanitarian efforts to assist the tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors streaming into the U.S.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest has said the president doesn’t need to visit because he’s aware of the scope of the crisis, and the administration is not concerned about the optics involved.
“The president is well aware of exactly what’s happening on the border,” Earnest said Tuesday. “And what we are focused on right now are not political statements that would be made with an appearance, but rather with specific concrete action, steps that can be taken to mitigate this problem.”
On Tuesday, the White House unveiled a $3.7 billion emergency spending package designed to surge resources to the border.
Edwards says she respected Obama’s decision on a border visit.
“And all the visiting of the border in the world isn't going to change the fact that Congress hasn't done anything yet, and that is at the feet and the hands of John Boehner, of the Republican Party that refuses to bring immigration reform to the floor for a vote,” she said. “It would pass.”