Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2015by Representative Debbie Dingell
Posted on 2015-01-13
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
Mrs. DINGELL. Mr. Chair, I rise in strong opposition to H.R. 240, the
Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2015. Without further action by
Congress, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will face a
shutdown on February 28, 2015. Everyone agrees DHS should receive
robust funding to carry out their mission of keeping the American
people safe, and I'm pleased to see there is bipartisan, bicameral
agreement on funding levels for the agency. However, I am very
disappointed that the Republican majority had decided to add poison-
pill amendments to this legislation related to the President's actions
on immigration. This is putting the American people at risk and is
Global tensions remain high following the terrorist attacks in France, and we should not be letting down our guard at this critical time. Yet this is exactly what we are doing by passing H.R. 240 today. This legislation has no chance of being signed into law, as President Obama has already said he would veto the bill. If my friends on the other side of the aisle are so concerned about immigration, they should work with Democrats in a bipartisan manner on comprehensive immigration reform. I stand ready to work with them on this critical issue.
I want to address the DeSantis Amendment to this legislation. As a woman who is active on domestic violence issues, I will always do everything in my power to protect victims of abuse. However, this amendment is misleading and I am afraid it could have unintended consequences if adopted. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops stated that this amendment would discourage victims of domestic violence from reporting abuse to the proper authorities. I also spoke with domestic violence groups in Michigan, and they have pointed out the unintended consequences of this amendment as well. We need to make it easier to report incidents of domestic violence, not harder, which is why I am opposing the DeSantis amendment today.
In the meantime, we should pass a clean DHS appropriations bill so the operations of this critical department can continue uninterrupted. Their mission is simply too important to jeopardize. I urge my colleagues to join me in opposing H.R. 240.