McConnell to Obama: ‘Get serious’ about border crisis

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said President Obama needed to convince his own party to agree to immigration reforms in order to deal with the influx of child immigrants.

The White House has requested $3.7 billion to temporarily house and feed the thousands of immigrant children from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala who have been detained at the U.S.-Mexico border.

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Republicans have said that price tag is too high and have proposed legislation that would amend a 2008 law to ensure the children cannot seek refugee status. But Democrats have said Congress should simply fund the agencies so they can deal with the problem.

“[Democrats] now seem to prefer a blank check that would preserve the status quo instead,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “And the president will barely lift a finger to encourage his own party to support these simple reforms.”

On Tuesday, Senate Democrats announced that they would cut Obama’s emergency spending request by $1 billion, but still refused to accept Republican demands to change legal protections for child immigrants despite the White House initially saying they would accept some changes.

“A few weeks ago, the president made some modest policy recommendations that should be part of any legislation to deal with this crisis. Unfortunately, the far left objected, and he’s since wobbled,” McConnell said. “President Obama needs to show some leadership to help us get a long-term, credible plan in place to do just that.”