Department of Homeland Security Fundingby Senator John Cornyn
Posted on 2015-02-11
CORNYN. Mr. President, will my friend from New York yield for a
Mr. SCHUMER. I will yield for a question when I finish my remarks,
just as he was nice enough to yield to me a few days ago.
First, without a bipartisan full-year bill, the Secret Service cannot move forward with the critical reforms recommended by an independent panel of experts made after the White House fence-jumping incident.
Second, we can't upgrade the biometric identification system that prevents terrorists from coming into the country. Republicans and Democrats negotiated an additional $25 million for DHS to upgrade the system that allows them to stop terrorists from coming through an airport or on a cargo ship and into the United States. A CR does not provide that funding.
Third, Secretary Johnson has said the Department will be constrained by a CR from improving security along our southwest border and maintaining the resources we added to deal with last summer's border crisis. Some say, Why does a CR constrain all of this? Because it is just ratifying last year's funding, and when new situations have emerged--new terrorist threats, new trouble on the border--we can't change the budget. It makes no sense. No company would simply pass last year's budget when they are experiencing new challenges; neither should our government.
In short, a CR just doesn't work. It is not how we should be funding the Department of Homeland Security.
So we implore our Republican colleagues: Don't shut down the Department of Homeland Security, don't set up another shutdown, and don't underfund the men and women who work 24/7 to keep us safe. Pass a clean appropriations bill and give the people on the frontlines of defending this country the tools they need to get the job done.
I will be happy to yield for a question to my good friend, the Senator from Texas.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Texas.
Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I ask my friend from New York--I don't hear any Republicans talking about a shutdown and I don't hear any Republicans talking about a continuing resolution. I just hear Republicans talking about taking up the bill the House has passed, which is a $40 billion appropriations bill and having a vote on it. But isn't it true that Democrats are united in blocking our ability to even consider that $40 billion appropriations bill? Mr. SCHUMER. I thank my friend for the question. It is nice to see him standing on the Democratic side. I hope he tries it again. If he likes it, he might do it more often.