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Sheila J.
Democrat TX 18

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  • Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2015

    by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee

    Posted on 2015-01-13

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    JACKSON LEE. I thank the gentlewoman.

    Mr. Chairman, I believe it is important for us to focus on what we are discussing here today: Paris, 17 dead; Canada; Australia; Boko Haram, 2,000 dead, a 10-year-old suicide bomber; and, of course, 9/11.

    This is the Homeland Security Appropriations. I have had the privilege of serving on the authorizing committee since its creation, and every day we go to that committee, we know that the commitment is to secure the American people.

    This is not a forum to battle one's agreements or disagreements with the Constitution and with the President's executive authority or to battle your disagreements with the idea of deporting felons over families--that debate can be had--but, tonight, we are wrongly jeopardizing the national security of the American people.

    We do it on the basis, our Republican friends, of failing to even read the Constitution, for it is clear, as it is stated in the Constitution under article II, section 3, that the President can have the authority, ``shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.'' In essence, he has the right to make sure that we are treating persons fairly and that prosecutorial discretion is exercised in a fair manner.

    Nothing that is in the executive actions of the President violates any law; but what it does do, as we are debating today with the poison pill amendments, is to take the inhumanity of some viewpoints and to throw it against people who have come to this country by no fault of their own, who have come to this country to do us not harm but good, who have come to this country to work hard and to help build this great Nation.

    I am saddened by the fact that, because of this debate, the Coast Guard will suffer, that the Secret Service will suffer, that the airport and aviation security will suffer. Why? Because we will not have a bill.

    I believe that this challenge for all of us is to raise the question of whether our Republican friends have come here to govern. The only thing I see is that they are using this Homeland Security bill for extreme positions that they want to foster over security.

    Why would they want to defund DACA? Why would they want to capture the basic infrastructure of the funding of Homeland Security? It has worked over the years, the fees that have supported the Border Patrol agents, Customs and Border Protection, Transportation and Security; yet they want to capture these dollars and cripple Homeland Security. They want to make sure we don't have enough Secret Service agents as we move forward into the election year.

    The Acting CHAIR. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.

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