Newsnation: Groups built around not getting things done,’ Sen. Lankford says of DC culture

June 28, 2024

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(NewsNation) — Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., lamented on Sunday the Senate’s failure to pass bipartisan legislation on the southern border and blamed the lobbyist culture of Washington, D.C.

“There are so many outside groups that are built around not getting things done,” he said on NewsNation’s “The Hill Sunday.” “It’s the old consulting joke: If you can’t solve a problem, there’s good money to be made prolonging it. And that’s where we are in the cycle at this point.”

Republicans in February resisted advancing a bipartisan proposal intended to clamp down on illegal border crossings. In a speech on the Senate floor just before the vote, Lankford, who crafted the proposal, said it was a chance for the Senate to decide “if we’re going to do nothing, or something.”

“It’s an issue that’s bedeviled, quite frankly, this body for decades,” Lankford said. “It’s been three decades since we’ve passed anything into law to be able to change border security.”

In the meantime, Lankford says illegal border crossings have only become more frequent since the bill was scuttled, largely by his own party.

“We have 10 million people that have illegally crossed in the last three and a half years,” he said. “That’s more than the previous 12 years combined.”

Lankford said coming to a bipartisan consensus on the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border shouldn’t be difficult.

“It’s a controversial issue because there are so many people in Washington, D.C., and around the country, who get email blasts with information that literally pushes out to them ‘Don’t allow your people to be able to vote for this because it has this in it.’ And it creates so much noise.”