Washington, D.C.--U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, delivered the following remarks at an executive session to vote on the nomination of Christopher Magnus to be Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
The text of Ranking Member Crapo’s remarks, as prepared, is below.
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
“We are here to vote on the nomination of Christopher Magnus to be Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). I intend to oppose this nomination.
“As I said during the nominee’s hearing, CBP’s responsibilities are staggering under the best of circumstances. But the present is not the best of circumstances; not while CBP faces an unprecedented border crisis.
“This fiscal year ended with 1.7 million apprehensions on the southern border—the highest on record. Tragically, but not surprisingly, it also led to another record: the highest annual number of migrant deaths—557 dead trying to cross our borders.
“While our brave men and women of the border patrol do everything they can to address this tragedy, criminal cartels are using the opportunity to move more drugs than ever across the southern border.
“This year alone, the border patrol seized over 390 kilograms of fentanyl. Consider that number next to this one: one kilogram of fentanyl has the potential to kill 500,000 people. Put plainly, communities around the country, including those in Idaho that are far from the southern border, are suffering because of the ongoing crisis unfolding on our southern border.
“I cannot understand why the Administration refuses to call this the crisis that it is—other than to avoid taking responsibility and committing the requisite resources to address it. The nominee was asked by Members of this Committee multiple times to acknowledge we face a crisis. He declined to do so.
“Although I will not be voting in favor of Mr. Magnus’ nomination today, I believe we do share common concerns, including combatting the importation of goods made with forced labor and enforcing our trade remedy laws.
“If confirmed, I will work with Mr. Magnus to address these and other issues in a bipartisan manner.
“Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding this markup today.”