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VIDEO: Blunt Joins Fox News Sunday to Discuss Border Security, DHS Funding Bill

January 27, 2019

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, joined John Roberts on Fox News Sunday to discuss his support for stronger border security and role as a member of the bipartisan House-Senate conference committee that will negotiate funding for the FY 2019 Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill.

Following Are Excerpts From Blunt’s Interview

On the Need to Strengthen Border Security & Find a Path Forward on the DHS Funding Bill:

“I think compromise is the essence of what we do and, you know, I think the American people are tired of watching the government where people get locked down for no reasons except maybe political reasons. Clearly, the president showed real flexibility here for a guy who’s not always that flexible. He has changed his view of this as he's gotten more information about how you secure the border, about ways to do that. We have consistently said that barriers were part of that. …

“Four presidents have built barriers. Joe and I have both supported that when we've been in the Congress, and I think there’s certainly a way forward here. But part of the way forward is to look at the other issues that are out there too that need to be dealt with and deal with those, the spending issues that are going to be right in front of us as soon as we get this done. One of the things we learned this year was if you do this the right way, you can have 100 percent of the government funded by the beginning of the fiscal year. This time, we got 75 percent of the government funded. That should be one of the lessons we learn here. What do we need to get on the table right now so that we get 100 percent of the government funded and how do we deal with the border as an issue? I've always thought securing the border first made the most sense and then I think the other problems related to immigration are much easier to solve if people think that the government has done its fundamental job.”

On Prior Democrat Support for Hundreds of Miles of Physical Barriers at the Southern Border:

“Many of the Democrats in the last few months have looked at the president making this a big issue in his campaign and they’ve decided, well we can't be for that anymore. [In] 2013, virtually every Democrat who is still in the Senate voted for 700 miles of barriers and a whole lot more money than anybody is talking about right now. Speaker Pelosi has been for barriers in the past. You know, the whole idea that somehow 650 or 700 miles of barriers are appropriate, but 702 miles are immoral - that is an incredibly interesting place to draw your line about what’s moral and what’s not moral.  I think this debate got way too political. I do think, let me say again, I think the president has shown more willingness to move so far than others have, but we need to solve this.”

On the Possibility of President Trump Issuing an Emergency Declaration:

“We would all prefer to see this negotiated the way it should be negotiated. I happen to agree with the president on barriers at the border and border security as an important first step. But there might be a future president that I don't agree with that think something else is an emergency. I thinks it's a bad precedent. I hope the president doesn't have to go there. If we’ll do our job, he won't even have to consider going there three weeks from now because we’ll have reached the right kind of agreement.”

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