A picture of Senator Charles E. Schumer
Charles S.
Democrat NY

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  • Department of Homeland Security Funding

    by Senator Charles E. Schumer

    Posted on 2015-02-03

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    SCHUMER. Mr. President, the distinguished majority leader has stated that it is possible within the procedures of this Senate to pass a homeland security bill, as negotiated by our Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs--and I see the able head of the subcommittee here on the floor, the Senator from New Hampshire--and then move to immigration and bring it to the floor. So all of his arguments that we are afraid to debate immigration, that we don't want to debate immigration are false.

    There is not one choice, there are two. One is to debate immigration fully and openly. The other is to a play a game of hostage, to say: We are kidnapping Homeland Security, and now let's have a debate on how much the ransom should be.

    No one in America wants us to legislate that way. I know my colleagues in the Senate didn't do that. It was the House that did it, led by thinking by the junior Senator from Texas. His view, as I have heard him say, is that what the President did on immigration is so awful that we should shut down the Department of Homeland Security as a way of forcing the President to go along with what the junior Senator from Texas wants.

    When are our colleagues on the other side of the aisle going to learn? They followed Senator Cruz a year and a half ago when he wanted to shut down the government over ObamaCare. They actually did shut down the government for a few weeks and were so widely excoriated by just about all Americans that they backed off. But they haven't learned. They are following the junior Senator from Texas, Mr. Cruz, into a cul- de-sac at best and over a cliff at worst.

    We are happy to debate homeland security but not with a gun to our head or the President's head; not to say: If you don't do it my way, I am going to shut down the government. The vast majority of Americans-- Democratic, Independent, Republican, North, East, South, West--don't believe that is how we should legislate. I am surprised--I am almost shocked, with some of the wisdom we have in the leadership of this body, that they are allowing that to happen. We will not. We have the ability to block it, and block it we will. We will not play hostage. We will not risk shutting down Homeland Security--as I am sure my colleague from New Hampshire will talk about--a vital Department. We will not let their being upset with DREAM kids jeopardize our safety with ISIS. We will not let that happen.

    I urge my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to pass the bill that has already been put on the floor--a clean Homeland Security bill--then they may decide to put immigration on the floor, and we will be happy, happy, happy to debate it.

    I yield the floor.

    The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Missouri.

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