On Wednesday (March 15), 15 Democrats on the House Homeland Committee will be boycotting a hearing at the U.S.-Mexico border as they believe Republicans will use the hearing to overstate the border crisis.
According to the Washington Examiner, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson (Miss.) shared that Committee Democrats “decided not to participate in the Republicans’ field hearing.”
Thompson added that it had been clear to Democrats from the onset of the planning of the field event “Republicans planned to politicize this event… breaking with the committee’s proud history of bipartisanship.”
Thompson claimed that rather than the trip to border being a “fact-finding mission” to establish “better border security and immigration policies,” the GOP would use the border trip to “attack the administration and try to score political points.”
He added Republicans would use “extreme rhetoric” to prove a point about the border crisis despite voting against “the resources border personnel need.”
Last week, chairman of the Committee Mark Green (R-Tenn.) revealed that the committee would be traveling to the Rio Grande Valley to hold the Committee hearing, where U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz and others would be testifying.
Following reports Democrats wouldn’t be attending the hearing, Green criticized Democrats for inviting their own witness, an official from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and then refusing to participate.
According to the Washington Examiner, the witness invited by the Democrats still intends to testify.
Green described the Democrats’ decision as “deeply disappointing… after they invited and confirmed a minority witness for one of the panels.”