Chairwoman Lowey Statement at Subcommittee Markup of FY 2021 Homeland Security Funding Bill

2020-07-07 09:00

Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey (D-NY), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, delivered the following remarks at the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee's markup of its fiscal year 2021 bill:

I commend Chairwoman Roybal-Allard and Ranking Member Fleischmann for their work on this bill. I also thank the dedicated staff for their hard work.

It is the Department of Homeland Security’s mission to protect Americans from terrorism, targeted violent extremism, and other threats, but the President and his Administration have taken liberties with that mandate in pursuit of a reckless and discriminatory agenda that often threatens – not strengthens – our security. Today’s bill reflects House Democrats’ commitment to putting necessary checks on the President’s cruel immigration enforcement efforts and invests resources where they are truly needed.

As COVID-19 continues its devastating toll on our communities and violent hate crimes increase across the nation, this bill includes $5.66 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund and nearly $1.5 billion for the Urban Area Security Initiative and the State Homeland Security Grant Program, with a combined $360 million for non-profits to help them prevent and protect against terrorist attacks. I thank the Chairwoman for her support and shared commitment to this record-level funding.

This bill also prohibits the use of Federal funds for border wall construction and the Administration’s practice of transferring funds for purposes other than those intended by Congress. It would also reduce ICE capacity for detention beds by more than half with added guardrails to protect asylum seekers, and further prioritizes alternatives to detention.

The President’s continued fixation on a wall must be rejected. I urge support for this bill that responds to the real threats our nation faces.

116th Congress