“I think every day when we say our prayers, we need to include the border patrol because it is really, really difficult.”

Capito Discusses Effort to Strengthen Security Along U.S. Border

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) appeared yesterday morning before a breakfast meeting of The Ripon Society, delivering remarks about her role as the Chairwoman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, and the effort to strengthen America’s border security this year.

“What the border agents do every day – that is tough stuff,” the West Virginia Republican stated. “It is not for the faint of heart. I think every day when we say our prayers, we need to include the border patrol because it is really, really difficult … Last month, 27,000 families came over illegally. That’s a lot of people. And the numbers are going up and up and up. So fortifying our southern border is something I’m particularly engaged in. I think it’s very important to the safety of our country, it’s important to the safety of the people who are trying to come into our country, and it’s in our own best interest.”

Referring to negotiations that are currently underway to increase spending in this area, she added: “Hopefully, we can reach a compromise. We had $1.6 billion in our bill, which is what the President initially asked for. He’s now upped the ante to $5 billion, which is what’s in the House bill. I think it’s going to boil down to what kind of compromise we can get with the Democrats, and how far they’re willing to go.”

Capito was elected to the Senate in 2014 after serving seven terms in the U.S. House. She was appointed Chairwoman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee this past April. In this role, she is at the forefront of the efforts to shore up security along our border and ensure American interests are secure in other key areas around the world.

“I traveled with the commandant of the Coast Guard because our bill also includes funding for an ice cutter called the Polar Security Vessel,” she said, in discussing one of those areas. “It’s really important because the last one was built in the 70’s, and it’s showing its age. As we know, China and Russia are patrolling north of Alaska — Senator Murkowski reminds me of that every single day. It’s important that we have the capacity to really play in the Arctic region. So I’m very much on board with our Polar Security Vessel. I think it’s important, and it’s a big part of this bill, as well.”

In addition to her role as Chairwoman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, Capito also talked about another effort she is spearheading that is critically important to the people of West Virginia – combatting the opioid crisis.

“This is hitting my state severely hard,” she said of the crisis. “We have the highest number of overdoses resulting in death per capita. We’ve done a lot of innovative things in our state. We have some very cutting edge kind of treatments that we’ve developed because we had to. We’ve done some community response teams — critical response teams. Our drug courts are working … I’m glad to see that the President was able to get the Chinese to agree to work with us on the fentanyl issue, because that’s really where the killer is. More people in West Virginia died from fentanyl overdose than from heroin or any other kind of opioid.”

Following her remarks, the Senator took a number of questions, including one about trade.

“It’s been interesting to watch the trade issue because a lot of our Republican Members are from the agricultural community, and they’ve been pretty patient with us. I’d say South Dakota, Kansas, and Iowa – I’m talking about big agriculture. They think, particularly on the China issue, that the President really knows what he’s doing — he’s going to get a deal and we’re going to have short term pain for long term gain. But it’s starting to turn because it’s getting to be too much. The short term’s turning into too long a time. A lot of our ag community has really been suffering — it’s been a tough environment for ag any way. And so I think when you saw the President announce at that meeting in South America that he was trying to narrow the issues with China, it was welcomed in those communities.”

To view Capito’s remarks before The Ripon Society breakfast discussion yesterday morning, please click on the link below:

The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin. One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success. These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.