By Jon Dougherty, editor-in-chief
GOP Sen. John Kennedy said this week he doesn’t really care what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls the barrier sought for the U.S.-Mexico border by President Donald Trump just so long as common sense prevails in Congress that results in better security.
“Speaker Pelosi is an extraordinarily bright person. She knows that the walls we have right now are working, she knows that you can’t secure a 1,900-mile border without using barriers,” Kennedy said on Thursday.
“I think she probably doesn’t want to use the word ‘wall.’ That’s OK, she can call it a wangdoodle for all I care.”
— Brooke Baldwin (@BrookeBCNN) January 31, 2019
“We’re not talking about a wall from one end to the other,” he continued, noting that both he and POTUS Trump agree on that point.
“Walls are placed strategically along with what the speaker talked about, better technology at ports of entry, more Border Patrol agents, more detention beds, drones, I mean it’s a combination of things, but it does include a wall, and I know that’s hard for the speaker to say. Maybe she should call it a wangdoodle,” the folksy Kennedy added.
Currently, a bipartisan congressional committee is meeting to work out a compromise agreement before a current stopgap funding measure the president signed which reopened the government for 21 days expires Feb. 15.
Pelosi has come out publicly and said she would not agree to any amount of funding for a “border wall.” The president, meanwhile, has hinted that he could use an emergency declaration to secure border barrier funding. He could also get it from the Pentagon under existing law, a Defense Department official has acknowledged.
Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.), who is on the committee, said there will be “discussions about terminology and words we use,” according to Newsweek.
At a White House event this past week, Tim Ballard, a former Department of Homeland Security special agent who worked on the southern border, made the case for border walls.
He told the story of a Central American girl who was trafficked to New York City to become a sex slave.
“Now, let me say this: Had there been a wall, had there been a barrier, this little girl likely would have been saved, because the traffickers would have been forced to take this child through the port of entry where we have amazing law enforcement,” Ballard said, The Western Journal reported.
Ballard contrasted that with a five-year-old boy who was saved because traffickers were forced by a wall to bring him through an established port of entry.
“The difference between those two cases is two plus two equals four. The wall was a difference. The wall rescued this little boy, and the lack of a wall caused this little girl to go through a hell that is indescribable, that is not manufactured. It is a real crisis. It is a real emergency,” Ballard said.
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10
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