Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden said Thursday that both President Obama and Congress should return to Washington from their respective breaks to address the country's immigration crisis and the conflict in Iraq.
"You have the president giving a press conference from Martha's Vineyard and it sends the wrong message. We continue to have a humanitarian and security crisis on the border." McFadden said from north-central Minnesota, where he was closing out a tour of the state's 87 counties. "We've got to get these things solved and I think it's inappropriate for people to go on vacation."
McFadden, an investment banker from Sunfish Lake, handily won Tuesday's primary to take on Democratic Sen. Al Franken.
An official August break for Congress has been on the books since 1970, Congress can return mid-recess if both houses agree to it, although it's rare, according to the Washington Post. The last time was nearly a decade ago to pass emergency legislation to assist people devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Obama returns to Washington on Sunday.
McFadden said the current crises warrant it. Asked what he would do at the border, McFadden said "I don't know what the exact solution is, but I think it's along the lines of what the (Texas Sen. John) Cornyn bill is trying to push forward, which significantly accelerates the hearings for these children so they're not stuck in limbo."
Cornyn authored the HUMANE Act, which focuses on unaccompanied children crossing the border.
On the day the Missouri State Highway Patrol said it would take over security in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb that's been a hotbed of protests since a police officer shot and killed an unarmed black teenager, McFadden called the situation "troubling."
"I'm keeping a close eye on the situation, and I only know what everybody else knows," McFadden said. "It's very troubling when you have people from the press getting arrested, and I think someone in Missouri needs to take charge. It's a concerning development"
Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison and other lawmakers have called for a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the incident. Obama has also called for an investigation and made remarks on the ongoing protests and urged "peace and calm" while an investigation continues.
McFadden's comments come the day after he stumbled over whether he would support increasing the gas tax to fund transportation infrastructure.