Inside the Beltway: Every town is now a border town

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The humanitarian crisis on the southern U.S. border has moved north and has become an acute problem in Tennessee. Republican lawmakers in the region are troubled by the sudden appearance of unaccompanied alien children — that’s UACs for short — in the Volunteer State. They are speaking up.

“The basic question that must be answered is whether the federal government is using Tennessee as a central location for resettling UACs in the United States,” said Sens. Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty plus Rep. Chuck Fleischmann in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

“The citizens of Tennessee are entitled to more information. After all, their schools, hospitals, and law enforcement agencies will bear the burden of this reported resettlement, which is the product of an ongoing border crisis that is making every town a border town,” the three advised.

“I’m pushing hard for transparency on this, and the Biden administration is blocking us. You notice that they move these planes in the dead of night. They’re coming in both by commercial airlines as well as private air. The planes that we found out about, at least, are landing after midnight. We hear they’re unaccompanied minors, but they could be adults. We are asking these questions: Are they vaccinated? Have they been vetted? What sort of people are moving through the state?” Mr. Hagerty asked during an interview with Fox News on Tuesday.

“This is going to overcrowd our schools, overwhelm our hospitals and overtax our public safety. We’ve got an important right to know what the Biden administration is doing with these people they are moving into our state,” he continued,

“We’re seeing more flow of illegal drugs, more human trafficking. Our law enforcement is being overwhelmed in Tennessee. We’ve had more deaths from fentanyl poisoning since this border crisis has occurred. That’s why I went down to Guatemala and Mexico three weeks ago now, to get to the bottom of this, The Biden administration has yet to send Vice President Kamala Harris there,” Mr. Hagerty advised.

The vice president is currently in charge of border issues for the White House, by the way.

MEANWHILE IN NEW MEXICO

Meanwhile, it is of interest that second gentleman Douglas Emhoff — husband of Vice President Harris, of course — will travel to Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Thursday: this follows a previous visit to the state in March. But it is not border issues that he is addressing.

Mr. Emhoff will be in Albuquerque to support local Democratic congressional hopeful Melanie Stansbury, who’s on the ballot for a rare special House election next week and has won an endorsement from President Biden.  

‘A TIME FOR CHOOSING’ REVISITED

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute has fired up a significant new speaker’s series titled “A Time for Choosing,” focused on visceral challenges facing Republicans and conservatives now and in the future.

The title of the series derives its name from Ronald Reagan’s iconic address delivered on Oct. 27, 1964, and billed “A Time of Choosing.” It was meant to support Sen. Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign.

“You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We’ll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we’ll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness,” Reagan said.

And now, some 57 years later, the Reagan mindset appears to be moving right along with the times.

“The question is no longer ‘What would Ronald Reagan do?’ The question is now ‘What would Ronald Reagan expect of us?’ ” The organizers say in their mission statement.

The series begins Thursday at the gorgeous Reagan presidential site in Simi Valley, California, and the roster of esteemed speakers in the coming weeks include Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina and Tom Cotton of Arkansas. Former Trump administration heavyweights Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo and Nikki Haley will make future appearances.

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan is first up for the event, which can be viewed live online through the Reagan Foundation & Institute’s website and social media channels. Consult ReaganFoundation.org for the particulars, found under the “Time For Choosing Speaker Series,” But wait. And Here is the complex but exact YouTube link to watch Mr. Ryan’s opening speech on Thursday, which begins at 6 p.m. Pacific time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqlbfAjRPtM

BIDEN COVERAGE WAS TRUMPED

New findings released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center suggest that the news media simply could not stay away from former President Donald Trump once he was out of office.

“Following an election whose results were fiercely contested and a turbulent presidential transition, former President Donald Trump accounted for a considerable part of the news media’s early narrative about the Biden administration. During the first 60 days of the new administration, roughly half of stories about the Biden administration mentioned Trump in some way (48%),” noted the research, which was based on a survey of U.S. adults conducted March 8-14, plus news coverage and data collected from Jan. 21 – March 21.

Mentions of Mr. Trump were “particularly prominent” in stories that alluded to Mr. Biden’s political skills and immigration policy.

“The study is not an analysis of media bias or evaluating whether the coverage of Biden and his administration was accurate or fair,” the pollster said in the methodology notes.

POLL DU JOUR

34% of U.S. adults think the U.S. economy is “getting worse”; 64% of Republicans, 34% of independents and 12% of Democrats agree.

28% overall say the economy is “getting better”; 11% of Republicans, 23% of independents and 48% of Democrats agree.

26% overall say the economy is “about the same”;  21% of Republicans, 28% of independents and 32% of Democrats agree.

12% are unsure about the state of the economy; 4% of Republicans, 12% of independents and 8% of Democrats agree.

Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted May 15-18.

Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

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