Kevin McCarthy didn't think the border was such an 'emergency' when his party was in charge of the House.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had to twist himself in knots on Tuesday to justify Trump's decision to invoke a bogus "national emergency" to erect a racist border wall that most Americans don't want.
During his weekly press conference, McCarthy was asked by a reporter why Republicans didn't treat the border wall like an "emergency" just a few months ago when they held both the House and the Senate and could have passed legislation funding it.
"Well, times change as it moves forward," McCarthy responded after a noticeable pause to consider the question.
"When you get the more report of the amount of the drugs coming across, you get the more reports of the human trafficking and others, 60,000 people arrested each month," he said.
"At the end of the day the president has a responsibility to make sure [the border] gets protected, and he made the decision," McCarthy concluded.
REPORTER: Mr Minority Leader, why wasn't the southern border a crisis a couple months ago when Republicans were in power?@GOPLeader McCARTHY: "... Well, times change as it moves forward." pic.twitter.com/JSEOaqY6ci
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 26, 2019
The response was a dishonest two-step that also revealed the political calculations Trump and the GOP engaged in to try to sell Americans a bill of goods.
To justify Republicans failing to act on Trump's fake "emergency" when they had the chance, McCarthy falsely suggested that crime and other problems at the border have gotten so much worse in just the last few months that it had reached a breaking point.
That's simply not true — and, as reporters pointed out when Trump tried to make similar arguments, data from Trump's own government proves it.
Customs and Border Patrol data shows that 2,572 fewer people were apprehended at the border in January than in December, and 1,684 fewer in December than in November. That's the exact time period during which McCarthy claims the so-called emergency was getting worse.
McCarthy's other claims, which he seems to have cribbed from Trump's talking points, are also completely unsubstantiated.
Government officials have not been able to verify Trump's claims of increased human trafficking along the border, and experts say his lurid tales of bound-up women forced across the border sounds like something from a movie, not real life.
Trump and McCarthy have also both insisted that a wall will stem the tide of drugs going across the border. But in its report recommending strategies to reduce illicit drug use, the White House National Drug Control Strategy never even mentions erecting a border wall as a possible solution.
It's obvious that when McCarthy was second in command to then-Speaker Paul Ryan and working in concert with Trump, Republicans never truly thought the border was an "emergency." If they did, they would have simply appropriated the money Trump wanted.
Unlike McCarthy and his leadership team, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has stood on principle to say there's no good reason to fund Trump's wall, and that Trump is abusing his power by declaring a phony emergency to get what he wants.
That's why Trump is in the middle of a multi-week meltdown — and McCarthy is howling right along with him.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.