House Dems fume, pledge boycott of House Judiciary border crisis hearing in Arizona

House Democrats announced Friday that they intend to boycott the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing next week on the border crisis in Yuma, Arizona, claiming they were not consulted on the matter — a claim that Republicans calling false. Republicans on the committee announced that Chairman Jim Jordan had scheduled part two of the hearings on the “Biden Border Crisis” for Thursday in Yuma, Arizona. It’s in line with promises by Republicans to hold hearings at the border in response to the ongoing migrant crisis and the announcement comes a day after Speaker Kevin McCarthy visited the southern border. However, House Democrats decried the move as a “stunt” and claimed “there was no consultation with Judiciary Democrats, many of whom have already committed to attending other bipartisan congressional delegation trips.” MCCARTHY IN ARIZONA SAYS ‘NO-ONE BELIEVES’ BIDEN ADMIN’S CLAIM BORDER IS SECURE, CARTELS ARE IN CONTROL “Instead of focusing on real solutions to a complicated problem, Judiciary Republicans will once again not hear from any federal government witnesses at their hearing, further cementing this hearing as a brazen act of political grandstanding,” Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler and Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., said in a statement. “As a result, Democrats, who have been to the border regularly the last few years, will not attend next week’s performative hearing. The Democrats said they will conduct their own trip to the border in March. Republicans, however, denied that they had not consulted Democrats on the hearing. “We gave the Democrats three weeks notice about the border hearing, when we are technically only required to give them one week notice,” a senior GOP aide told Fox News Digital, adding that they had been in communication with staff via phone, email and text. “All of the Democrats were invited to come, but apparently not one could find time to attend an official congressional hearing.” SUPREME COURT DROPS TITLE 42 CASE FROM CALENDAR AFTER BIDEN ADMIN ARGUES CASE IS ‘MOOT’  “Democrats have asked if it was acceptable for them to send a staffer on the trip. How did the Democrat staffer find out about the trip if they weren’t consulted?” the aide added. The back-and-forth comes amid continued political tensions over the ongoing crisis at the border, which saw a historic 2.3 million migrant encounters in FY 2022 and an FY2023 on pace to break that number. Republicans have blamed the Biden administration’s “open border” policies for the crisis, noting its narrowing of interior enforcement and ending of key Trump-era border policies such as wall construction and the Remain-in-Mexico policy. Meanwhile the administration and Democrats have accused Republicans of failing to provide adequate funding and of opposing immigration reform.  Republicans have rejected the inclusion of a pathway to citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants already in the U.S. as a key part of that plan. DEM LEADER JEFFRIES, CUELLAR HEAD TO SOUTHERN BORDER A DAY AFTER MCCARTHY VISIT In his visit to the border on Thursday, McCarthy put the blame squarely on the administration, and dismissed claims that the border was “secure.” “This is a fundamental problem,” McCarthy said in Arizona on Thursday. “This is a problem created by this administration.” The White House has pushed back, pointing to a recent drop in crossings from the record high of 251,000 in December to approximately 156,000 in January and tied it to recent border measures – including a parole program for 30,000 migrants a month that Republican-led states have sought to block.  “Since President Biden took action to implement new border enforcement and immigration measures last month, illegal border crossings are down to their lowest levels in years,” White House spokesman Ian Sams said. “Perhaps seeing this progress will spur House Republicans to do some soul-searching.” On Friday, House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries will visit the border in Laredo, Texas along with Rep. Henry Cuellar. Fox News’ Tyler Olson and Kelly Phares contributed to this report.
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