March 3, 2015
Rep. Mike Simpson, member of the House Committee on Appropriations, gave the following statement on the House floor today on the Motion to Recede and Concur in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 240:
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today with a motion that will move us forward to ensure the security of our nation by keeping the Department of Homeland Security funded until the end of the fiscal year.
"Funding for the Department of Homeland Security will expire this week. To allow a shutdown of these critical functions would be an abdication of one of our primary duties as Members of Congress. It is the constitutional duty of this body to provide funding for the federal government – all of the federal government – and this should be without the threat of shutdowns or the lurching uncertainty of continuing resolutions.
"The House acted in January to fund DHS for the year – and has extended short-term funding several times – in order to maintain the critical security activities that keep our nation safe.
"The Senate has now done all it can do, given their unique procedural constraints. It is clear that the legislation before us, while not exactly what the House wanted, is the only path forward to avoid a potentially devastating shutdown and to provide stable, continuous funding for the agencies and programs tasked with defending our home turf.
"Let us remember that the underlying legislation is a great bill. The security of our homeland is one of our highest priorities, and this bill provides $39.7 billion for that purpose. It will ensure that we can defend our nation against threats of terrorism, and that the men and women on our frontline remain well equipped and trained.
"We are now nearly halfway into the fiscal year, and it is imperative that we get this bill enacted. At the same time, Congress must continue to fight the President’s executive actions on immigration that I do not support, and that the American people do not support.
"We must continue this fight. But we also must allow funding for critical security functions to move forward. These two priorities are not mutually exclusive. We can and should do both.
"For now, the president’s executive action has been stopped in court. This is where we must focus our efforts and continue the battle against this unconstitutional overreach.
"Mr. Speaker, it is high time to act to provide responsible, adequate funding for the Department of Homeland Security to protect the people who elected us, and to defend this great nation. I urge an “aye” vote, and I reserve the balance of my time."