Democratic members of the House Homeland Security Committee are reportedly bailing from attending a field hearing in Texas about the border crisis.
Committee chairman Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn., told Fox News about Democratic members pulling out of the hearing, in which U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz was set to testify at.
“It’s deeply disappointing that the minority members of the Committee have chosen to bail on this week’s full committee field hearing in Texas, only after they invited and confirmed a minority witness for one of the panels,” Green said. “The only message their absence sends is that they are uninterested in coming to the table to have a conversation about the devastation that this border crisis is having on Americans and their communities across the country.”
HOUSE HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE TO HOLD FIRST FIELD HEARING ON BORDER CRISIS IN TEXAS
He added that the committee will continue to encourage Democratic colleagues to step out of the “DC echo chamber” to meet with Americans about the biggest issues they face.
The House Homeland Security Committee announced last month that it would hold its first field hearing on the crisis at the southern border on March 15, giving Republicans a chance to highlight what they say is the direct link between the chaos and disorder at the border and the Biden administration’s policies.
The hearing is scheduled to take place in McAllen, Texas, and is in line with Republican promises to close in on the crisis, now into its third year.
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The event also comes nearly a month after the committee held a “border boot camp” in El Paso, Texas, and a full committee hearing on border security.
Republicans have stressed the need for lawmakers to go into the communities affected by the border crisis and see the consequences first-hand to help shape legislation.
There were over 1.7 million migrant encounters in FY2021, and more than 2.3 million in FY2022. FY2023 has been on track to beat those numbers.
Adam Shaw contributed to this report.