August 1, 2014
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers spoke on the House floor today in support of H.R. 5230, a bill providing supplemental appropriations for fiscal year 2014 to address the immigration crisis at the Southwestern border.
The text of his prepared statement follows:
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to continue the debate on H.R. 5230, with further amendments added by the Rule the House just adopted. The need to pass this bill before Congress leaves for the August break is just as critical today as it was yesterday.
"This bill provides funding to meet immediate border security and humanitarian needs in response to the recent deluge of illegal immigrants crossing our Southern border.
"In terms of funding, this bill is essentially the same as the legislation the House considered yesterday. It emphasizes securing our borders, providing humanitarian assistance for unaccompanied children in U.S. custody, and preventing further influxes of illegal immigration – both by funding vital programs and by implementing important policy provisions.
"This is also a fiscally responsible bill – all funding is offset, so it won’t add a penny to our deficit, and it’s limited to just the 2014 fiscal year.
"However, the bill differs from the version yesterday by adding an additional $35 million for the National Guard to allow states – including Texas – to be reimbursed for National Guard activities related to border security and the current influx of illegal immigrants. This brings the new total of the bill to $694 million, and again, it is all fully offset.
"In addition, the bill includes new tweaks to various policy provisions, which will help to further tighten our borders and provide solutions to help solve our immigration challenges for the future.
"Mr. Speaker, we have a crisis on our hands, and we cannot simply get up and walk away. It is our moral responsibility to protect our homeland, and to properly care for process the thousands of unaccompanied children who put their hands in the lives of criminals to cross our borders.
"We cannot turn our backs on this. We must pass this bill today. I urge my colleagues support. Thank you, and I yield back."