Sen. Kennedy surprises Mayorkas by interrupting testimony for shoulder pat, handshake after tense trade
Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., shocked the pinnacle of Homeland Safety on Wednesday when, after a troublesome trade over Second Modification rights, he gave him a pat on the shoulder and a agency handshake on his approach out.
Kennedy questioned Homeland Safety Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee listening to about his assist for an assault weapons ban, a day after he had quizzed him on the identical topic and had been unhappy along with his solutions.
Mayorkas once more backed an assault weapons ban and deferred to the definition beforehand in laws banning such weapons within the 1990s — however he didn’t present considered one of his personal.
“Senator, I have to defer to the specialists with respect to the definition. However I’ll let you know, for instance, military-style weapons are an incredible concern. We’re seeing an excessive amount of devastation,” he mentioned, talking simply days after a college capturing in Nashville, Tenn.
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Kennedy was sad with the reply.
“You made a really daring assertion very firmly saying we must always ban all assault weapons. And all I am asking is what in your thoughts is an assault weapon? You say it is army model. Does that imply it appears to be like like a army weapon?” he mentioned.
Mayorkas was carried out nonetheless: “Senator, I believe I’ve addressed your query to the most effective of my skills.”
However Kennedy continued.
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“However you have not. I am making an attempt to know. You are secretary of the Division of Homeland Safety and, as is your proper as an American, you imagine we must always ban assault weapons. But it surely bothers me you may’t inform me what you’ll ban,” he mentioned.
Mayorkas later mentioned he had come to “testify to this committee and never take an examination with respect to questions that I’ve already answered to the most effective of my capacity.”
After the robust questioning, Mayorkas turned to Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., who requested about short-term employee visas.
As Mayorkas was answering the query, Kennedy approached him from behind, patted him on the shoulder and shook his hand firmly — showing so as to add “Thanks on your service.”
Mayorkas appeared considerably startled by the weird transfer, however thanked him, earlier than saying “excuse me” to Sen. Shaheen and persevering with his remarks.
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The second marked a quick pleasant gesture amid what has been a battering for Mayorkas by Republican lawmakers in each the Home and the Senate who’ve expressed their fury concerning the ongoing migrant disaster on the southern border and the circulation of fentanyl into the U.S.
A number of lawmakers instructed Mayorkas he ought to resign or be fired, whereas Sen. Ted Cruz accused him of being “prepared to permit kids to be raped to comply with political orders.”
Mayorkas instantly slammed the remarks as “revolting” and a DHS spokesperson later adopted up with a press release backing the secretary after the significantly indignant trade.
“Secretary Mayorkas is proud to advance the noble mission of this Division, assist its extraordinary workforce, and serve the American folks. The Division will proceed to implement our legal guidelines and safe our border, defend the nation from terrorism, enhance our cybersecurity, all whereas constructing a secure, orderly, and humane immigration system. As an alternative of pointing fingers, Congress ought to work with the Division and move laws to repair our damaged immigration system, which has not been up to date in over 40 years,” the spokesperson mentioned.
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