Earlier this week, the Obama administration asked Congress for $600 million in emergency funds to help secure the Southwest border. Sen. Jon Kyl (R., Ariz.) tells National Review Online that he “appreciates this modest addition” by the administration, but finds it odd that the “administration did not consult with us” about the request. “I wished they met with us beforehand,” he says, “so they could explain to us what they want to spend the millions on.” The funds “are welcome,” but “probably not enough for right now. I am still not clear about what they are trying to accomplish.”
Kyl adds that President Obama is still “not doing enough” to secure the borders. Kyl, of course, had a small spat with the White House last week over comments he made at a town-hall meeting. Kyl, responding to a voter’s question, detailed a recent one-on-one conversation he had with the president. “They are holding [border security] hostage” over hopes for comprehensive immigration reform, Kyl said at the forum.
Kyl tells us that the comments were “taken a bit out of context,” and that the “they” he was referring to was the Left, “the president’s base,” and not the administration. “I did not try to start a fight. This meeting happened a month ago and we were talking in the context of his political problems. He was talking about how they think that if we secure the border, you guys [Republicans] won’t have the incentive to work on comprehensive immigration reform.”