It can be intimidating to face hostile questioning during a Congressional hearing, but acting White House Budget Director Shalanda Young managed to deftly handle a ridiculously leading question posed by one of the GOP’s most extremist members, Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-CO).
With Rep. Boebert remarkably still serving on the House Budget Committee, she took the opportunity to ask Young a question that would have forced the Biden administration official to acknowledge a completely false premise in order to answer her query.
“How long will you be ceding the southern border to the cartels?” Boebert asked accusingly during a video conference of the committee meeting, apparently from the premises of her Rifle, Colorado, Shooter’s Grill.
Young replied by dutifully recounting Donald Trump’s diversion of funds allocated to the Department of Defense to pay for the construction of his ineffective border wall “solution” to the refugee crisis, a project that even with the diverted funds Trump never managed to complete more than a few miles of wall.
“We are returning the billions of dollars that were taken from our men and women and troops in uniform for the southern border work,” Young pointed out to the Colorado congresswoman. “So this administration is returning Department of Defense money that bipartisan members decried.”
If nothing else, Rep. Boebert has learned how to badger a congressional witness during her few months in office.
“Reclaiming my time!” Boebert interrupted. “We’re not talking about the funding that was taken away. Right now, we are paying contractors to not build [the border wall]. I asked you how long will you be ceding the southern border to the cartels? That is my question to you, Director.”
Young first tried to explain the rationale behind her previous answer.
“Given the bipartisan concern, I thought it was important to highlight that,” Young responded. “And to also highlight that we are moving away from an unsustainable border wall that has not worked to technology — as you pointed out…”
Congresswoman Boebert refused to hear anything besides an acknowledgment of the premise of her question — that Latin American drug cartels control the border between the United States and Mexico.
“Reclaiming my time!” Boebert interjected again. “I need you to answer the question that I’m asking you. This is my time. How long will you be ceding our southern border to the cartels?”
Young’s reply was an object lesson in how to answer a leading question.
“That’s not a question with an assumption I’m going to assume,” Young stated. “So we can certainly talk about the reassessment of the border.”
That discussion was never meant to be since Boebert had exhausted her time for questions with her politically motivated mischaracterization of our nation’s border security status.
You can watch the exchange between Congresswoman Lauren Boerbert and acting White House Budget Director Shalanda Young in the video clip below.
Original reporting by David Edwards at RawStory.
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Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.