A GOP congressman who’s railed against the bipartisan Senate deal to bolster border security said on Tuesday that the perspectives of Border Patrol agents and the acting chief of the Customs and Border Protection agency—both of which would enforce the proposed legislation, and both of which have endorsed it— don’t matter.
House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN) made the slip to Fox News’ Steve Doocy on Fox & Friends, where Doocy acknowledged that the House Republican Caucus opposed the legislation that the Senate spent months negotiating because Donald Trump came out against it.
“But, here’s the problem for you guys,” Doocy said. “The border patrol union came out and the acting CBP chief both came out and said, ‘It’s not perfect, but this is the best thing we have seen in decades.’ So, are Republicans going to say that the Border Patrol union and the acting CBP chief are wrong?”
The National Border Patrol Council said on Monday the deal was “not perfect” but “far better than the status quo.” Acting CBP chief Troy Miller told employees that the deal provided “the strongest set of tools we have had in decades to effectively manage migration and enhance our nation’s border security,” according to a memo obtained by Fox News.
Emmer tried to demur, saying that both groups could “have their perspective.” But Doocy wouldn’t let that fly: “It’s their jobs, Tom!”
“And it’s our job to actually make sure the laws will accomplish what we are seeking to do,” Emmer said. He went on to list the House GOP’s goals on the border, including the institution of a “Remain in Mexico” policy and reforming the asylum process.
“I respect the border patrol,” Emmer said. “Our job is to support them. They can have their opinion. But this is what we got elected for, and we need to hold the administration accountable.”
Editor’s Note: The headline on this story has been updated to more accurately reflect Emmer’s comments.