The situation at the U.S. southern boundary may deteriorate if ongoing issues in the House of Representatives hinder a congressional agreement to avert a government shutdown, Democratic Senator Mark Kelly remarked on Sunday.
On CBS’s “Face the Nation”, Senator Kelly from Arizona expressed his concern about House Speaker Kevin McCarthy from California for not uniting conservative Republican members behind a fiscal plan to sustain government operations.
“There’s a significant issue at our border, and the current inaction in the House could exacerbate it,” commented Kelly.
Reports indicated that interactions with migrants at the southern boundary surged beyond 200,000 in August, setting a new peak for the year and establishing a record for the month.
Kelly, who previously served as a NASA astronaut, highlighted that states along the border, including Arizona, have been grappling with immigration challenges for many years. He raised concerns about how a potential shutdown might intensify the existing predicament.
“In the event of a government shutdown, Border Patrol officers might not receive their salaries,” Kelly emphasized. “The situation could escalate even more.”
Furthermore, Kelly discussed how a shutdown’s repercussions might resonate internationally, especially considering ongoing discussions about financial support for the conflict in Ukraine.
“Our assistance to Ukraine is pivotal. Should it halt, Ukraine would be at a disadvantage, benefiting [Russian President Vladimir] Putin,” Kelly asserted. “We must ensure this support continues, or the outcomes could be dire.”
Kelly added, “The level of gridlock we’re witnessing in the House is unparalleled. The broader implications of funding decisions, such as support for Ukraine, resonate globally, catching the attention of leaders like China’s president.”
In recent developments, President Biden sought Congressional approval for an extra $24 billion to back efforts in Ukraine. The White House acknowledged earlier this month that over $100 billion had already been allocated to the Ukraine situation.
Kelly warned, “If we don’t act decisively now, we risk escalating tensions with Russia in the foreseeable future. That’s an outcome we must avoid.”