Last night at the 2019 Virginia Women’s Summit, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA11) spoke passionately and angrily about the drowning deaths of a father and his daughter who were desperately trying to cross the Rio Grande River for a better life into the United States. Rep. Connolly also ripped the Senate border humanitarian aid bill that was passed by the House of Representatives this past Thursday. See the video below, as well as a transcript (bolding added by me for emphasis). Also, for more background on this, see ‘A betrayal’: Inside the bitter rift between Pelosi and Schumer over border bill and “Chuck Schumer F–ked Us”: Progressive Rage as Democratic Tensions Erupt Over the Humanitarian Border Crisis.
“I want to begin by remembering the tragedy and that awful picture we all saw this week – a dad and his two-year-old daughter who sought asylum in our country, and they were illegally turned away at a port of entry. And they decided to try another route. And they died in the end. Yesterday in the House of Representatives, we had an opportunity to strengthen a bill passed by the Senate on border security, by making it a lot more focused on humanitarian aid and by adding 5 provisions that would have protected kids…Would have made sure they had all of the hygiene they needed. Would have had protections. Would have had inspections, including unlimited inspections for members of Congress. No – a small band of members killed that bill, and as a result we have a Senate bill that puts four and a half billion dollars into ICE and Border Patrol without any of those protections. I voted against that bill. In this room, there are a lot of us who are moms and dads, and grandparents and aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters. Kids come first in America. And if this crowd doesn’t understand that as a value, you are the change makers…”