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Homeland Security Chairman John Carter Floor Statement on H.R. 240, the Fiscal Year 2015 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill


Washington, Jan 13 -

House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee Chairman John Carter gave the following statement on the floor today in support of H.R. 240, the fiscal year 2015 Homeland Security Appropriations bill:

“Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today, I’m privileged to present to the House this bipartisan, bicameral agreement providing appropriations to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for fiscal year 2015. Before I describe the details of this agreement, I want to thank everyone who has worked to get this bill here today because—despite its importance to national security and public safety—its path to the floor has been far from certain.

“First, to the Speaker and the Majority Leader and your staffs – thanks for doing what is necessary to get the bill to this stage of the legislative process.

“To Chairman Rogers and the full committee staff – thanks for fighting for this bill. It wouldn’t be on the floor without you.

“To the House and Senate subcommittee staffs, and my personal staff – Darek Newby, Kris Mallard, Cornell Teague, Laura Cylke, Anne Wake, Steve Gilleland, Bill Zito, Jonas Miller, and Val Baldwin – thanks for your advice and counsel crafting this agreement. Your work takes you away from home and family, and I appreciate your efforts. Finally, to the Honorable David Price, the Ranking Member of the subcommittee – thank you! Our partnership is critical to this bill’s success. Your experience and measured approach makes this agreement better. Thank you for your service and, more importantly, your friendship.

“As everyone knows, several amendments will be proposed to stop the President’s recent executive actions on immigration. I plan to vote for these amendments because, like many Americans, I believe the President’s actions exceed the authority provided to the Executive in the Constitution.

“We need to have this debate. But after all the arguments have been presented, the underlying appropriations bill must be enacted because it is crucial to the nation’s security and to public safety.

“Mr. Speaker, last week we watched a terrible tragedy unfold in Paris, as armed terrorists killed innocent French citizens who were doing nothing more than going about their daily lives. Like 9/11, this event and others that have occurred this year, remind us that our democratic values are under constant attack and serve as a warning that we must remain vigilant.

“Make no mistake – what happened in Paris can happen anywhere, including the United States, and we must provide the resources necessary to find and root out the seeds of terrorism. Therefore, passing the Homeland Security Appropriations bill is an imperative we cannot fail to meet.

“Mr. Speaker, this agreement is very good and I’m proud of it. It supports DHS’s frontline personnel and essential security operations and maintains fiscal discipline.

“Specifically, for Customs and Border Protection,—

“For Immigration and Customs Enforcement --

“For the Transportation Security Administration –

“For the United States Coast Guard—

“For the United States Secret Service— $25 million in additional funds are provided to address training shortfalls highlighted by the White House Fence Jumper; and to enhance perimeter security, including for additional canine teams.

“For the National Protection and Programs Directorate, funds are provided so DHS can effectively manage the collection of biometrics and protect and enhance the resilience of the nation’s physical and cyber infrastructure.

“For the Federal Emergency Management Agency—

“For Science and Technology –

“Finally, this agreement provides absolutely no discretionary or mandatory funds to implement the President’s executive actions on immigration. As you know, the costs of processing immigration applications are paid entirely by individual applicants when they submit their supporting documentation. Fees from those transactions are collected in a specific account in the Treasury, as mandated in the Immigration and Nationality Act. The hard-earned income of American taxpayers does not subsidize costs of immigration applications, and the spending bill under consideration today has no funding for these purposes.

“In closing, Mr. Speaker, this Homeland Security bill meets the security needs of our nation and the fiscal stewardship expected by the taxpayers. I believe it is worthy of every Member’s vote and urge my colleagues to support it. I yield back the balance of my time.”

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