WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was back in the hot seat Wednesday, testifying before the House Appropriations Committee on the president’s border budget just hours after he testified before the Senate on the same topic, where Republicans told him he should resign.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, didn’t hold back Tuesday as he grilled Mayorkas about the ongoing situation at the southern border.
“Mr. Secretary, I am going to say to you right now: Your behavior is disgraceful,” Cruz told Mayorkas. “If you had integrity, you would resign.”
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, gave Mayorkas a chance to respond.
“What the senator said was revolting,” Mayorkas said. “I am not going to address it,” said Mayorkas, to which Cruz promptly replied: “Your refusal to do your job is revolting.”
The heated exchange was just one of many with Republicans who blame the Biden administration for the influx of migrants and fentanyl at the southern border.
“You should be fired,” Sen. John Cornyn told Mayorkas. “But you haven’t been fired because you were carrying out the policies of the Biden administration.”
At a House hearing Wednesday, Mayorkas defended the administration, saying the president’s proposed budget includes critical resources to prevent illegal border crossings.
“We are very focused on filling the positions of the Border Patrol,” he said.
However, U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, says that won’t be enough.
“The (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) chief says you need 22,000 agents total to counter the crisis,” she said. “That’s a total of 3,000 more agents. This request only provides for 350 more.”
U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, said every dollar Congress approves needs to be maximized.
“I just want to make sure that we put the focus and the money’s for we need to look at and look at, you know, not 14th-century solutions, but 21st-century solutions,” he said.