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Nita L.
Democrat NY 17

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  • Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2015

    by Representative Nita M. Lowey

    Posted on 2015-01-13

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    LOWEY. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

    At the outset, I want to thank Chairman Carter and Ranking Member [[Page H274]] Price for their very hard work in putting the original bill together, which was negotiated by the House and the Senate and could be law right now.

    As my colleagues are aware, our committee has not officially organized for the new Congress, which means we technically do not yet have a ranking minority member for the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee.

    Again, I want to say to my colleagues that we could have completed action on this bill in the last Congress with the other 11 appropriations bills considered in the omnibus package. Unfortunately, the House majority kicked the can down the road and put these important programs under a continuing resolution in a misguided attempt to protest the President's executive order on immigration.

    Today, instead of putting a clean bill on the floor, my majority colleagues have decided to further inject partisan politics into the appropriations process. We all know the outcome of this very dangerous game. The legislation in this form will not be enacted.

    All we are doing is further delaying the enactment of a very good full-year bill. I am deeply disappointed that Republicans insist on making Congress play out this farce at the expense of our Nation's security. It has taken less than 2 weeks for the Republican Congress to prove that it cannot govern responsibly.

    The Republican majority has already delayed this bill enough. With more than a quarter of this fiscal year already gone, we continue to play games with the funding for an agency that was created to protect the Nation from terrorist attacks.

    {time} 1745 Last week, terrorists brutally murdered 12 people at the office of a French satirical magazine, a police officer, and four individuals at a kosher grocery store. That is a tragic example of the kind of out-of- the-blue attack that the Department of Homeland Security, along with its other law enforcement partners, is working hard to prevent here in the United States.

    Partisan games on immigration will delay grants to States and major urban areas, funding that is critical for supporting local first responders in our defense against homegrown terrorism and for fusion centers, where the Department of Homeland Security gathers, shares, and analyzes threat information with its State and local law enforcement partners.

    The failure to enact a full-year bill will slow down efforts for the Secret Service to begin addressing problems with security at the White House.

    The Department will be limited in its ability to move forward with the Secretary's Unity of Effort initiative to make the Department more strategic and improve coordination among its components.

    Resources to detain truly dangerous criminal aliens and to manage another rapid influx of unaccompanied children and families across the southwest border are in jeopardy.

    Acquisition of the final National Security Cutter and other Coast Guard assets will be delayed, as will construction of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility.

    Mr. Chairman, I urge my Republican colleagues to give up the partisan games that threaten our national security and allow the House to act today on the clean bill--again, that was negotiated by Democrats and Republicans, House and Senate, a good bill--funding the Department of Homeland Security. We have already wasted enough time.

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