An exchange between Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas from Thursday highlights the Biden administration's failure to take the border crisis seriously.
Rep. Norman began his questioning asking if Sec. Mayorkas had had a physical. While the secretary bristled at the question, the point the congressman was trying to make was about a physical examination. The congressman then wondered why the vice president has not gone to the border to examine it in person.
According to a partial transcript provided by Melanie After with CNSNews.com, with added emphasis:
NORMAN: Okay, why then would the leader of this country and the vice president not want to go physically, look at the border, talk to the Border Patrol agents that you say you want to try to recruit? Why if it applies in so many other fields, why does it not apply with this? In fact, is it fair if you had a doctor that laughed at you as the vice president did when asked to come to the border? Can you comment on that? Does that make sense to you?
MAYORKAS: I most certainly can, and I consider that question to be quite unfair and disrespectful, and let me be very clear. The president and the vice president have requested and directed me to visit the border, which I have done on multiple occasions, and I’d like to cite to my exchange with ranking member Katko with respect to my work as a federal prosecutor and the direction that I provided to state and local law enforcement, to federal investigators to visit particular scenes. I’m sorry if I may finish—
NORMAN: I’m reclaiming my time. You made the statement that my question was unfair. I’m making the statement that your comments are just words, and they’re very unfair. I asked you a simple question, and I would like for you just to answer simply. Does it make sense for the leaders of the free world to go and to talk to and see what’s going on with the border. You didn’t answer with Mr. Katko, and all I’m saying is, we don’t want words. We want actions, and when you say, you’re trying to hire Border Patrol agents, where’s the money?
MAYORKAS: We have, Congressman, the funds to hire Border Patrol agents to fill the vacancies, number one. Number two, I am the secretary of homeland security, and it is responsibility to manage the border at the direction of the president and the vice president, and I have visited the border on multiple occasions and number three, and number three and finally –
NORMAN: Have you talked to the Border Patrol agents?
MAYORKAS: I most certainly have, and number three, if I may, the vice president served as the attorney general of a border state of California, and she is quite familiar with the situation on the border—
NORMAN: But she’s laughing at it. She has not been—reclaiming my time, Secretary Mayorkas. I’ve got a limited amount of time. She’s laughing at it. When you say--- it’s an insult – reclaiming my time – for you to say that you’re looking at the border wall and looking at it. What do you have to look at? You’re not building it. When you say technology what I’ve heard, how effective once the 1 million to 2 million people are in this country illegally, how effective is technology going to be to root them out and to find out who they are when you don’t know who’s coming in in the first place? Simple question.
MAYORKAS: Congressman, the factual premise of your question is inaccurate, and technology has proven to be an effective force multiplier.
As Townhall has reported, Vice President Harris does have a habit of laughing at inopportune moments, including and especially when asked about the border.
"Not today," she said in one exchange where asked by reporters if she was going to the border, which she apparently found quite hilarious.
Apparently, the border crisis is now a laughing matter for the Biden administration.— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) March 22, 2021
WATCH: VP Kamala Harris laughs when asked if she has any plans to visit the border. pic.twitter.com/z3AdoFX0Dq
The vice president also laughed at Lester Holt, when he repeatedly pressed her. "And I haven't been to Europe and I mean, I don't understand the point that you're making. I'm not discounting the importance of the border," she said.
VP Harris: “We’ve been to the border.”— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) June 8, 2021
Holt: “YOU haven’t been to the border.”
VP Harris: “And I haven’t been to Europe.” pic.twitter.com/lEBhZzfA0u
No wonder why Rep. Norman had to get creative when driving the point home to a member of the administration who is supposed to be so directly involved.
Instead of visiting the border, where over 180k people crossed illegally last month.— Rep. Ralph Norman (@RepRalphNorman) June 15, 2021
Yesterday, @VP visited SC to promote her her vaccination rollout.
The same state that has almost a 99% decrease in infections since the height of COVID.
The vice president did have time to travel to South Carolina, however. Madeline reported on a Fox News interview in which Gov. Henry McMaster (R-SC) blasted the administration and Harris in particular. He himself had visited the southern border. "There’s just no action down there by the administration. It’s a crying shame," the governor said.
WATCH:@HenryMcMaster slams @VP for visiting SC instead of the border.— The RGA (@The_RGA) June 15, 2021
“I’ve been there… It’s easy to find… But there is no action down there by the the administration. It’s a crying shame.” pic.twitter.com/mdSf6xz06e
It's not just Republicans, however, criticizing the vice president. As Julio reported, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) sent a letter to Harris on Wednesday, inviting her to the southern border.
The congressman has been one of the most prolific Democrats keeping pressure on the vice president in the matter.