During a hearing this week of the Senate Judiciary Committee that dealt with the safety of migrant children who have arrived in the United States, panel member Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) made frankly outrageously false claims about the stance from Democratic Senators towards the problem.
He accused Democratic leadership of essentially helping government officials with a purported attempt to evade answering tough questions. In reality, it was made clear during that very hearing that Democrats did want government witnesses. None of the witnesses who were appearing before the panel on Wednesday actively held positions in the U.S. federal government.
“We’re here today because the Biden administration has utterly failed,” Cruz claimed. “It has failed to secure the border. And it has encouraged parents to send their minor alien children on a dangerous trip to the United States unaccompanied. And it’s failed to protect these children after they were let into the United States. The Democrats running this committee have also failed. As we’re holding a hearing to discuss the issues facing HHS’s placement of unaccompanied minors, but we don’t even have a single official from HHS here to answer our questions.” Cruz went on to accuse Democrats of intentionally trying to help politically shield the Biden administration, which only furthered his brazen misrepresentation of what has actually been transpiring.
Within the first five minutes of the hearing, chairman Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) referenced his push with Republicans involved in the committee’s work to obtain insider records from the relevant authorities in government, placing the Biden administration itself under investigation — not ignoring the real-world problems actually there. And elsewhere, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) of all people acknowledged the Democratic interest in hearing from officials in government rather than the non-governmental witnesses who’d gathered before Senators on Wednesday.
Cruz’s narrative that the Biden administration has itself perpetrated some kind of willful negligence was also effectively refuted by some comments from one of those witnesses, Terri Gerstein. “The federal Department of Labor is grossly underfunded,” witness Terri Gerstein explained to Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), pointing out some actual issues. “The Wage and Hour Division has record low numbers of investigators. OSHA as well is at very low numbers… The Solicitor of Labor’s office doesn’t have enough resources either… If we really want to address this, we need to fund the agencies that are charged with enforcing our laws.”
Watch the full hearing below: