Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2015—Motion to Proceedby Senator Harry Reid
Posted on 2015-02-05
REID. Mr. President, reserving the right to object, there is
bipartisan objection to the request by the majority leader. It is worth
our spending a minute or two hearing what Republicans Senators have had
to say in the last few hours.
John McCain, the senior Senator from Arizona: Is that the definition of insanity, voting on the same bill over and over again? Jim Inhofe: I think three is enough. There is a division within the conference on this.
Jeff Flake of Arizona: We can go through the motions, sure, but I don't think we are fooling anybody.
Another Republican Senator: I wish we could take no for an answer and figure out the next step.
Well, what has happened in the last 30 hours? We knew 30 hours ago about ISIS. We have watched their brutality, killing thousands and thousands of innocent people, going back, I guess, in memory to the days we thought would never exist again: Tamerlane killing thousands and thousands of people those many centuries ago, Genghis [[Page S804]] Khan killing thousands and thousands of innocent people. ISIS has been doing this, but they have also added some things that we have watched not because we wanted to but because they forced us to: beheadings. Somebody kneels down in front of them, and they cut off their head with a knife. They film that and send it around the world for us to watch.
But what happened 30 hours ago? The brutality we thought had reached its pinnacle got worse. What ISIS did approximately 30 hours ago is put a Jordanian pilot in a cage--a cage--dump flammable liquid over that cage, and then film that man being burned alive for 22 minutes. We have been forced to watch that. Yes, ISIS is awful. The worst. Uncivilized. But that is what we are dealing with. We are dealing with that. Now Republicans forced an entirely unnecessary debate.
All the papers--not only the Nevada papers, but pick up the New York Times, pick up the Washington Post, and you will see a picture of a young woman from Nevada. Her name is Blanca Gamez. A young woman now, she came to the United States as a baby--a baby. Because of the direction taken by the President of the United States, this young woman and hundreds of thousands of others who dreamed of being able to lead a different life are now leading a different life. Blanca has gotten two college degrees. She is going to law school next year. She works. She pays taxes. Why in the world are Republicans afraid of Blanca Gamez? Why? It has been said by Martin Heinrich and by Claire McCaskill that it appears Republicans in the Senate are more afraid of the DREAMers than they are of ISIS. Well, I know the chairman of the Subcommittee on Homeland Security, as it relates to appropriations, came to the floor yesterday and talked about regular order. I say to my friend that regular order in the Senate has a number of different connotations. One of them is clear, so clear, and that is why John McCain spoke out, Jeff Flake, Jim Inhofe, and others spoke out, because in the Senate we need to fund our different subcommittees on appropriations. We have done that, except Homeland Security.
We have these terrorist acts all over the world taking place right now. We saw it in Canada. We saw it in Australia, all over the European Union, in Paris. All over. We have had so many frightening things happen. We in the United States of America are in a position where we are not going to fund Homeland Security because of Blanca Gamez.
We would love to debate immigration. We have done it here on the Senate floor before. It was a wonderful bipartisan debate. We are willing to do it again.
I am going to offer a consent request. I am going to object to my friend's consent request. That is on the record. I am going to make my own consent request. I am going to make a consent request that seems to me to be pretty good.
I ask unanimous consent that following the enactment of the text of S. 272, which is the Homeland Security Appropriations Act for this year, 2015, at a time to be determined by Senator McConnell, after consultation with me, but no later than Monday, March 16, the Senate proceed to the consideration of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, as passed by the Senate by a vote of 68 to 32 on June 27, 2013, the text of which is at the desk. That is my consent request.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. There is an objection to the request of the majority leader.
Is there an objection to the request of the Democratic leader? Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, reserving the right to object, just a correction to my good friend the majority leader. There is no Republican opposition to the consent request that the Democratic leader objected to. It is clear on our side. It would allow us to have a fair amendment process. If there are differences with the House, regular order has a remedy. It is called going to conference. None of this is possible while the Democrats continue filibustering even getting on the bill. So therefore, I object.