A picture of Representative Nydia M. Velázquez
Nydia V.
Democrat NY 7

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  • Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2015

    by Representative Nydia M. Velázquez

    Posted on 2015-01-13

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    VELAZQUEZ 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 purposes: 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.


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