[Congressional Record Volume 165, Number 9 (Wednesday, January 16, 2019)]
[Pages H609-H610]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                           HERE ARE THE FACTS

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from 
Kentucky (Mr. Barr) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. BARR. Mr. Speaker, during a meeting in the White House, our newly 
elected Speaker of the House interrupted Homeland Security Secretary 
Kirstjen Nielsen, who was reciting statistics relating to the border.
  ``I reject your facts,'' Ms. Pelosi said.
  Well, here are the facts:
  Fact: Last year, 17,000 people with prior criminal convictions were 
stopped trying to cross our southern border.
  Fact: The recent 8,000-plus caravan that attempted to breach our 
southern border contained over 600 confirmed criminal migrants.
  Fact: Approximately 90 percent of the heroin seized by Customs and 
Border Protection is interdicted along the southwest border of the 
United States at and between the ports of entry, and Mexico continues 
to be the primary supplier of heroin to the United States.
  Fact: The Department of Homeland Security reports a 73 percent surge 
in the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl interdicted at the southern 
border over the last 2 years.
  Fact: Over 72,000 Americans died of an opioid overdose last year.
  Fact: In my home State of Kentucky, we suffer from the fifth highest 
opioid overdose rate in America.
  Fact: The administration's request to Congress is not funding for a 

[[Page H610]]

concrete wall, as some falsely claim. It is a commonsense request for a 
sophisticated border wall system, including strategically placed 30-
foot steel barriers, technology, lights, cameras, sensors, and other 
  Fact: Currently, there are 700 miles of physical barriers on our 
southern border, a measure 90 Democrats, including Barack Obama, Joe 
Biden, Hillary Clinton, Dianne Feinstein, and Chuck Schumer supported 
in 2006.
  Speaker Pelosi, it is interesting you claim walls are ``immoral,'' 
when many of the leading voices in your party have a previous record of 
supporting physical barriers on our southern border. Do you consider 
them immoral?
  Fact: Border walls work. The Department of Homeland Security reports 
that, where a wall was built, illegal crossings have dropped by 90 
percent or more. For example, apprehensions of illegal aliens crossing 
the border in El Paso, Texas, dropped 72 percent in 1 year and 95 
percent over 22 years. And veteran Chief Border Patrol Agent Gloria 
Chavez, a Hispanic American, not a political appointee, a career 
professional with the Border Patrol agency, has said that the newly 
constructed border wall in her El Centro Sector of California has 
already reduced illegal border crossings.
  Speaker Pelosi, you are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not 
entitled to your own facts. I certainly agree with my colleagues on 
both sides of the aisle who say we must end this government shutdown 
and pay our Federal employees. It is wrong that these workers are 
missing paychecks, especially essential government workers who are 
required to work.

                              {time}  1045

  After all, many of these people are corrections officers, air traffic 
controllers, Federal court personnel, and Border Patrol agents. These 
are the very people who are charged with the responsibility of keeping 
the American people safe. That is why I cosponsor the No Work Without 
Pay Act, which would require us to pay these essential Federal workers 
during the pendency of a shutdown.
  But as important as it is that we timely fund these patriotic 
Americans' paychecks, it is equally important, and perhaps more 
important, that we fund their mission. So by all means, we must end 
this government shutdown, but that objective won't happen when the 
Speaker of the House refuses to accept basic, irrefutable facts. It 
won't happen until both parties sit down and offer a proposal, and a 
compromise, and a counterproposal, something that the Speaker of the 
House refuses to do.
  So my other friends on the other side of the aisle, many of them who 
I know are equally committed to protecting the American people, to 
Speaker Pelosi, and Senator Schumer: Stop the partisan games. Do your 
job. Protect the American people from drugs and criminals. End this 
shutdown, and fund commonsense border security.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Members are reminded to address their 
remarks to the Chair.