Laredo Mayor Names Pelosi 'Honorary President of the Republic of the Rio Grande'
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said during a visit to Laredo, Texas, today that the lower chamber will quickly move a resolution of disapproval against President Trump's declaration of a national emergency to secure additional border wall funds.
Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz presented Pelosi with the keys to the city and also bestowed upon her the title of "Honorary President of the Republic of the Rio Grande."
"I can't even imagine anything so wonderful. Look at this. Hey, we have a woman president," Pelosi said in response.
In her remarks, Pelosi said that since Trump "decided that he imagined or whatever, had the mythology of a crisis at the border, we say come see the reality of what happens here."
"This is a community with a border going through it. As was mentioned by the mayor and by [Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas)] people come and go, families interact, education, communication, trade, commerce, and the rest," she said. "So we do not see this as a declaration of emergency."
The resolution of disapproval introduced by Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) will be sent to the Rules Committee when Congress returns Monday, Pelosi said.
"We say that not in a partisan way, we don't say it in any political way. We say it in a patriotic way here in Presidents' Week. This is about the oath that we take to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States," she added. "...We plan to be voting on the floor of the House. We plan then after it passes the House to send it over to the Senate. We want to deal with this as expeditiously and carefully as possible, but I just wanted you to know what's going to happen in the next few days in that regard."
Pelosi said that "making arguments to the Senate, that's not my responsibility -- but the case to be made to the American people is that first of all we are upholding -- we have a constitutional responsibility to protect and defend the Constitution"
"To do anything less than overturn this action by the president, we would be delinquent in our duties as those who take an oath to protect the Constitution," she said.
Pressed on Democrats' previous support for border fencing, Pelosi replied that "no one has said if there is a place along the way where there might be some material fencing that that might not be acceptable, but that doesn't mean building a wall."
"It has no merit in terms of effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and does not support the values of our country by building walls between countries rather than smart border security where there needs to be more roads, more infrastructure, and the rest," she said.
"We believe in border security but we want to do it in a smart way," said Cuellar. "We want to do it. I have asked every Border Patrol chief this question and I want you to ask them this, I've asked them from Bush, I've asked them Obama and Trump's own Border Patrol chief also, how much time does a fence or wall buy you? All of them have said this thing: 'a few minutes or a few seconds.'"
"So, therefore, are we going to spend billions of dollars on a wall when all we have to do is just buy a $100 ladder and take care of that?"
Pelosi said that she didn't want a wall to damage the U.S.-Mexico friendship. "We are all called Americans, North or South Americans, let's respect each other in that way and let's return to what we talked about earlier the beautiful, beautiful salute to George and Martha Washington that we are observing this week," she said.