Idaho Congressman Russ Fulcher doesn’t watch much of the network newscasts, and generally he doesn’t think that he’s missing much. Since he lives and breathes congressional politics, Fulcher doesn’t need Lester Holt to tell him what’s happening on Capitol Hill.
But if Fulcher did watch the nightly news, he’d know that former President Trump doesn’t like the Senate’s bipartisan approach to the crisis at the southern border. Trump has been telling anyone with a microphone that the agreement would work in favor of Democrats in a presidential election year – and that is not good for Republicans.
None of that rings a bell with Fulcher, who spends many waking hours talking with his colleagues from both sides of the aisle about border security. But the Idaho Republican says that Trump’s name does not enter into the conversations, and he doesn’t need the former president to tell him that a bipartisan deal will be ashes if it gets to the House. House Speaker Mike Johnson has declared it as dead on arrival if it reaches the lower chamber.
House Republicans are going in a different direction – one that most likely will be dead on arrival if it gets to the Senate. They’re pushing for impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and it will take almost all House Republicans to push that through. Ironically, many of the House Republicans are the same ones who labeled two impeachments of Trump as “political theater.”
Indeed, impeachment proceedings against Mayorkas are great material – perhaps for the Cannes Film Festival. Fulcher acknowledges that the secretary’s ouster is unlikely, but he sees justification for impeachment.
Cabinet members, such as Mayorkas, serve at the pleasure of the president.
“But they are required to administer according to the constitutional law of the land, and that’s set by Congress,” Fulcher says. “Not only he (Mayorkas) has not done that, but he’s the guy who is saying that the border is secure. That’s absolutely not true by any metric.”
Fellow Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson agrees and raises the ante.
“For the last three years, our country has endured an unprecedented border crisis,” he says. “American families are suffering from the flood of fentanyl that’s entering our communities, border security agents are overwhelmed with that influx of migrant crossing the border, and human trafficking is worsening at an alarming rate. This is a direct result of Secretary Mayorkas willfully and systemically refusing to enforce the federal immigration laws. Secretary Mayorkas deserves to be held accountable for his negligence of our southern border.”Advertisement
Again … Mayorkas isn’t going anywhere. If bad policy decisions were the standard for impeachment, we’d be without a president and a Congress. Simpson and Fulcher, who often come under fire for their actions, would be harvesting potatoes somewhere.
But as Fulcher sees it, impeachment proceedings – even if they are ultimately fruitless – send a message about the urgency of resolving the border crisis.
“The No. 1 concern that comes through my office is the open border,” Fulcher says. “The No. 1 failure of this Congress is that we have not been able to get it closed. You also could look at it the other way, and it’s also true, is that the No. 1 policy failure of the Biden administration is to keep it open. If they wanted it closed, they would have done it a long time ago.”
Fulcher says he has empathy for migrants and families who are looking for better lives and go through the legal process. But that’s not what’s coming across to the tune of 10,000 people per day.
“What we’ve been told through bipartisan channels is that we are spending approximately $150 billion a year on immigration, and that’s on health care and education,” Fulcher says. There’s also a cost for sex trafficking, human trafficking, fentanyl, the illegal drugs and the lawlessness that comes with it.”
More serious danger looms if Fulcher is right about what comes next.
“I believe in the bottom of my heart that we are going to have another 9/11 this year. That’s because of the bad entities that are coming through the southern border. I hope I’m wrong here.”
Amen to that.
Chuck Malloy is a long-time Idaho journalist and columnist. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
This Op-Ed was submitted by Chuck Malloy. Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.
Tags: 2024 Presidential Election, Alejandro Mayorkas, Border Crisis, Border Crossing, Congressman Mike Simpson, Congressman Russ Fulcher, Donald Trump, Fentanyl, Homeland Security Secretary, Human Trafficking, illegal drugs, Immigration, Mayorkas, migrants, Sex Trafficking