The National Republican Congressional Committee is taking aim at House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries for calling the border at the southern border “medieval.”
Jeffries was on “Pod Save America” speaking about past government shutdowns. He noted the shutdown in 2018 and 2019 during the Trump administration.
“That was because [Republicans] wanted to try to extract billions of taxpayer dollars for an ineffective, medieval border wall,” he said.
The description of the wall as medieval, drew criticism from the NRCC.
“What everyday Americans call common sense, extreme Democrat Hakeem Jeffries calls ‘medieval,’” NRCC communications director Jack Pandol told Fox News Digital.
“It makes no sense unless Democrats are so beholden to an open border they just don’t care about the chaos and deadly drugs that come with it,” he said.
Democrats and the Biden administration have long opposed a wall at the southern border — with the Biden administration shutting down Trump-era construction shortly after entering office.
But with a historic ongoing crisis at the southern border — and a record 260,000 migrant encounters in September — Republicans have hammered the administration and Democrats for not supporting a wall.
The wall was back in focus in recent weeks when the Biden administration cited an “acute and immediate need” to waive 26 federal regulations to go forward with construction of barriers in South Texas due to an increase in illegal crossings.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has since said that there was no new policy on border wall construction, and the administration was mandated to spend the money appropriated by Congress during the Trump era.
“From day one, this Administration has made clear that a border wall is not the answer. That remains our position and our position has never wavered. The language in the Federal Register notice is being taken out of context and it does not signify any change in policy whatsoever,” he said in an Oct. 5 statement.
“We have repeatedly asked Congress to rescind this money but it has not done so and we are compelled to follow the law,” Mayorkas said.
This week, Republicans on the House Oversight Committee quizzed the administration on what they said are “conflicting” positions.
“On its face, your words concede a seemingly obvious point: that border barriers are an essential part of securing the border, as they have ‘proved to be a critical component in gaining operational control of the border’ by diverting or slowing illegal crossings of people or contraband, and result in a significant and measurable decrease in illegal entry in the areas they are erected while requiring less manpower to patrol,” lawmakers said. “Yet Administration officials continue to assert that this action does not constitute a change in policy and that border barriers are ineffective.”
A DHS spokesperson highlighted to Fox News again that it was a FY 2019 requirement for the money to be spent, and that Congress would not rescind the appropriation.
“After two years of trying to get Congress to reappropriate the funding for smarter, more effective policy interventions, the only way to then spend the money as Congress intended was to then issue a waiver of these laws,” they said. “The language of the waiver was written to ensure that DHS complied with Congress’s 2019 legal mandate that DHS spend the appropriated funds for border wall construction. It is not a statement of the Administration’s policy. ”
“As a matter of policy, the Administration disagrees with Congress’s 2019 mandate and continues to oppose further border wall construction. Nevertheless, DHS must and will comply with the law,” they said.
Jeffries’ office didn’t respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.