Senate Democrats skipping Pence's border trip

Senate Democrats skipping Pence's border trip
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Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee say they are not going on Vice President Pence’s trip to the U.S.-Mexico border this week.
 
Pence announced earlier this week that he was inviting a bipartisan delegation from the Judiciary panel to go with him on Friday to McAllen, Texas, which sits near the border in the Rio Grande Valley.
 
But nine of the 10 Democrats on the panel, or their staff, told The Hill that they are not going on the trip.
 
 
"I don't want to participate in what is basically the Trump show, the Trump-Pence show," Hirono said. 
 
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Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyDemocratic senators call for funding for local media in coronavirus stimulus Graham backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill Justice IG pours fuel on looming fight over FISA court MORE (D-Vt.), a former chairman and currently a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, appeared unaware that Pence was planning to invite a bipartisan delegation from the committee. 
 
“Oh really? First I’m hearing about it," he said.
  
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A spokeswoman for Pence didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about who is attending or if there would be an effort to invite Democrats beyond the Senate panel.
 
Several senators indicated they had scheduling conflicts that would prevent them from going. 
 
Spokespeople for Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinKudlow slams senators who allegedly traded stock before pandemic Senators demand more details from Trump on intel watchdog firing Zoom, grocery delivery, self-isolation: How lawmakers are surviving coronavirus MORE (Calif.), the top Democrat on the panel, and Sen. Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsHillicon Valley: State officials push for more election funds | Coronavirus surveillance concerns ramp up pressure for privacy bill | Senators warned not to use Zoom | Agencies ask FCC to revoke China Telecom's license Senators, bipartisan state officials press Congress for more election funds Bipartisan senators call on China to close all wet markets MORE (D-Del.) said their bosses had plans that conflicted with going on the trip. 
 
Asked if he was going, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said, "I don't think I can make it." 
 
 
The lack of Democratic participation comes after Pence announced on Monday that he would be visiting the border with a bipartisan delegation from the Judiciary Committee.
 
“On Friday, @SecondLady & I will travel to the U.S./ Mexico border at McAllen, TX with a bipartisan delegation of members of the Senate Judiciary Committee,” the vice president tweeted Monday afternoon. “The Senate passed bipartisan humanitarian relief - but much more must be done to SECURE our border & end this crisis!”
 
Congress passed legislation to provide more than $4.5 billion in new border money, including nearly $3 billion in humanitarian aide. 
 
But the administration, and their Republican allies, argue further action is needed, including changes to the country's asylum laws.
 
Pence has repeatedly called on Congress to act to improve conditions at the border. He said, “We’ve got to get to the root causes” of the reported conditions in border facilities in an interview last month.

"No American should approve of this mass influx of people coming across our border," Pence told CNN. "I was at the detention center in Nogales, [Ariz.]. ... It is a heartbreaking scene. These are people who are being exploited by human traffickers. ... Congress has to act."