Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2015by Representative Nydia M. Velázquez
Posted on 2015-01-13
of new york
in the house of representatives
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
The House in Committee of the Whole House on the state of
the Union had under consideration the bill (H.R. 240) making
appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security for
the fiscal year ending September 30, 2015, and for other
Ms. VELAZQUEZ. Mr. Chair, when it comes to protecting our homeland,
it is incumbent on all of us--Democrats and Republicans--to put
politics aside and work together. Yet, the exercise we are going
through today risks not funding the Department of Homeland Security.
We know that elements of this bill blocking the President's immigration reforms will not become law. Republican Senators are already expressing their skepticism about this approach. And, the President would veto this bill if it passed Congress with these provisions. So as the clock ticks down on funding for our homeland security agencies, why are we wasting time on this debate? Sadly, the answer is that the majority party is catering to its extreme wing--anti-immigrant, tea party Republicans who are obsessively focused on blocking the President.
Mr. Chair, let's be clear--the President acted when this House did not. Last Congress, the Senate passed legislation to fix our broken immigration laws. However, this body dawdled, delayed and ultimately did nothing. Finally, the President was forced to move forward alone. He took sensible steps--backed by legal precedent and well within his authority--that will resolve some of the worst flaws in our broken immigration system.
Now, House Republicans are saying that unless they can block the President and punish immigrants, they will jeopardize funding for the Secret Service, for the Coast Guard and the TSA. At a time when the world is reeling from horrific terrorist attacks in Paris, how can my colleagues play politics with funding for these agencies? This is cynical politics at its worst--and we must reject it.