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How a Republican Member Gave Democrat Ranking Member Jerry Nadler Ammunition on Immigration

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

With how much Democrats have turned a blind eye to the crisis at the border, it should not come as a surprise that Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, would use his opening remarks to attack Republicans during Wednesday's markup of H. R. 2460, the Border Security and Enforcement Act of 2023. What does make Nadler's remarks noteworthy, though, is that he was able to mention previous words made by Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX) last month.


"Once again my Republican colleagues show us they are not interested in finding real solutions to tough issues. This bill attempts to combine eight different bills, each one more cruel and heartless than the next, into one contradictory and overlapping mess. It is nothing more than pure political theater. This bill has no chance of being enacted into law, and most of its provisions cannot even pass in the House floor, because of opposition from Republicans," Nadler ranted. "That's right, these Republican members are so extreme that they are opposed by many of their own members." 

He was able to refer to Gonzales more directly when mentioning H.R. 29, the Border Safety and Security Act of 2023. "One of our Republican colleagues from Texas categorized that bill by saying 'H.R. 29 does anything but secure the border. So guess what? That bill in particular is dead.'"

Gonzales made those remarks during his March 26 appearance on CBS News' "Face the Nation." He also told host Margaret Brennan that "There's no way it's going to get on the floor. I'm gonna do everything in my power to prevent that because in my district, people are dying. And we need real solutions, not political rhetoric." 

It's also worth drawing attention to how Gonzales tweeted from his campaign account on March 29 in which he threatened to vote against the debt ceiling. 


The tweet drew over 250 replies, more than the congressman's tweets typically get, as well as more quoted tweets taking issue with his threat. In addition to being referenced by Nadler, Gonzales' tweet provided the far-left HuffPost fodder in an article from that same day. 

Gonzales not long after tweeted out his fundraising numbers, saying it was a "Fools errand for anyone trying to run me."

Gonzales' comments have received particular pushback from Rep. Chip Roy, also a fellow Republican from Texas. He called out Gonzales from the House floor on March 30.

"My message to my colleagues on this side of the aisle," Roy said at one passionate point, "is when you campaign on securing the border, and you're given control of the House of Representatives, you have an obligation to actually secure the border."

He went on to refer to Gonzales even more directly. "And to my colleagues who run around, using rhetoric, about what is or is not Christian like, I will say it is inherently un-Christian like to allow migrants to die and call that compassion. It is inherently un-Christian to allow Americans to die from fentanyl poisoning and say that it is un-Christian to say that we should secure the border. It is inherently un-Christian for us to turn our backs on the responsibility of being a sovereign nation that defends the rule of law, to be the beacon of hope for people around the world to want to come here in the first place," he emphasized. 


Speaking about problems that our border crisis brings us, such as young girls being sold into sex trafficking or migrants dying trapped in a tractor trailer in the heat, Roy had also declared "it is so beyond understanding that the so-called greatest country in the history of the world could allow [such] an environment" and later declared they were "all almost a direct consequence of the chosen policies of this administration, that's the simple truth." 

Roy presented the matter as making a choice between letting the cartel, or China take control, "or are we going to do our job and secure the border of the United States," declaring that's the "question before us as members of the House of Representatives. 

Roy has also been a vocal figure in the importance of coming up with a concrete plan for the debt ceiling and the need to make changes. He was the subject of the Wall Street's profile on Sunday, "Chip Roy, Pivotal in House Speaker Talks, Braces for Fight on Debt Ceiling." At one memorable point of the article, he's quoted as saying "If these sons-of-bitches want to try to end-run us, game on."

On the debt ceiling, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has faced stonewalling from Democrats, including and especially from President Joe Biden, in addition to trying to wrangle members like Gonzales. 


"Republicans on Capitol Hill, led by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, have reportedly agreed to a $1.5 trillion debt ceiling increase as President Joe Biden continues his refusal to negotiate on the issue," Katie reported earlier on Wednesday. 

Gonzales' office did not respond to Townhall's request for comment. 


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