Governors Livid, But Don’t Speak Up
[guest post by Dana]
An article came out on Friday titled Governors livid over border crisis and was was covered at a number of conservative sites. However, when I read the article, what jumped out at me – and made me livid – was something altogether different.
In the article, readers were informed that state governors (about 30 of them) assembled in Nashville for the National Governors Association’s meeting. Apparently, a number of the governors are livid about a lack of support and information coming from the federal government with regard to the influx of illegal detainees.
“I found out in the last 48 hours that approximately 200 illegal individuals have been transported to Nebraska [by the federal government],” said Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, a Republican, in an interview. “The federal government is complicit in a secret operation to transfer illegal individuals to my state and they won’t tell us who they are.”
And from Governor Mary Fallin (Oklahoma):
…whose state is housing 1,100 immigrant children at Fort Sill – just 100 shy of total capacity – said she’s still grasping at the scope of the problem and worried about the conditions the children now face.
“We had one case of chicken pox. We’ve had many cases of scabies and lice,” Fallin said.
She added that there’s been no guidance about how long the children will be housed, whether they’re entitled to any taxpayer-funded benefits, from education to Medicaid to foster care. And she’s unsure whether they might be “let loose in the United States” once they turn 18.
“Those are all the questions and concerns that governors like myself,” she said. “They are children so we want to treat them very humanely, but we also have a lot of concerns.”
The governors are clearly right to be so concerned (and frustrated) about an ongoing crisis that threatens them with staggering hits on state resources. And there is no doubt that the federal government is being anything but transparent, thus leaving states to muddle through the mess as best as they can.
But here’s the rub: keynote speaker at the NGA meeting was Vice-President Joe Biden and after his speech, held a Q&A session with these frustrated governors. And what did these, our elected representatives, bring up at the Q&A session?
The border crisis was on the tip of nearly every governor’s tongue in the early part of their meeting here, yet the group passed on the chance to grill Vice President Joe Biden on the subject when he appeared before them Friday.
During a question-and-answer session that followed a keynote address by Biden to the governors, the state executives asked him relatively tame questions about workforce development and jobs.
Livid, my ass! Because this is not what livid looks like to me. I am not a politician nor an elected official, but I am a reasonably intelligent person and know that if I, a private citizen, had the opportunity to speak to the Vice-President of the United States, the second in command, about the most significant “humanitarian crisis” we face – regardless of whether he were in a position to do anything other than placate – you can be certain that I would take full advantage of such an opportunity. So how much more should our elected officials take advantage of every such opportunity – especially in a room packed with state leaders? At the very least (and perhaps at the most), Biden has the ear of the president to some degree and could have gone back and reported the frustration of the governors. (“Wow, Barack, these governors are seriously pissed off at us! I mean, like they are seething with frustration! We gotta do something, man.”) Even that would have been … something. But instead, they remained silent.
And what did Biden say in turn?
[B]iden — who also may run for president in 2016 — didn’t refer to the controversial topic, either.
And why would he?
Too bad these governors didn’t take a tip from that other governor’s playbook.
Note: This was the thrust of Biden’s address delivered to the governors. However, in no way did it provide an excuse not to bring up the staggering “humanitarian crisis” our country faces.
Vice President Joe Biden called on the nation’s governors Friday in Nashville to help break partisan gridlock and lead the way in building infrastructure and investing in job training programs.
“You’ve got to lead us out of this mess we’re in,” the Democratic vice president said.
The vice president’s speech focused on two main goals: to shore up infrastructure, especially for transportation, and to build the nation’s workforce. He encouraged the governors to push for federal legislation such as the Grow America Act, which would pump $302 billion over the next four years into highways, bridges, transit and rail systems.