GOP demands hearings on border ‘crisis’

Republicans on the House Oversight and Reform Committee labeled the border a “crisis” and demanded Thursday that the panel hold a hearing to explore the Biden administration’s troubled handling of the situation.

Led by Rep. James Comer, the ranking Republican, all GOP lawmakers on the oversight committee said Democrats themselves should want to hold the hearing to get to the bottom of the Biden team’s use of unlicensed facilities to hold illegal immigrant children — something Democrats complained about when the Trump administration did it.

“This Committee must schedule a hearing to conduct oversight of the welfare of migrant children being held in these container facilities,” the lawmakers wrote to Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, New York Democrat and chair of the panel. “The Committee should also examine the Biden Administration’s plan for reducing the overall numbers of unaccompanied children arriving illegally at the southern border, as well as its plans for handling the current surge.”

The Republicans last month also requested a hearing to examine school closures in the U.S. amid the coronavirus pandemic. In the new letter, they said “both American children and migrant children are in crisis.”

Left without the majority in either chamber, Republicans have few avenues to get answers from a Biden team that Democrats have every incentive to protect from tough questions.

In the last week, the Oversight Committee has pursued probes into Texas’s energy situation after last month’s deep freeze, the SolarWinds hack and Homeland Security’s use of commercially available data to track down illegal immigrants for deportation.

No hearing has been scheduled on the border situation.

White House officials have rejected labeling the border surge a “crisis,” instead calling it a “challenge” they believe they are prepared to meet.

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