Granger Remarks on Border Emergency Supplemental Appropriations

Jun 25, 2019

WASHINGTON – Today, top Appropriations Committee Republican Kay Granger (R-TX) delivered the following remarks on H.R. 3401, the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Humanitarian Assistance and Security at the Southern Border Act.

Madam Speaker, I claim such time as I may consume.

Almost two months ago, the Administration sounded the alarm about the crisis at our southwest border and told the Congress additional funds were needed. 

Unfortunately, this border supplemental appropriations bill, H.R. 3401, falls short and will only further delay addressing the problem.  I oppose the bill in its current form.

Hundreds of thousands of people have arrived at the border this year.  Some are coming through points of entry, but many are crossing through the desert or the Rio Grande. 

Men and women across agencies and departments have been working together to try to respond to the overwhelming surge of people coming to the border illegally. 

Our agents and officers, volunteers, and nongovernmental organizations are dealing with:

  • nearly twenty thousand people in space designed for a fraction of that;
  • summer heat; and
  • migrants with grave medical conditions.

This is a real crisis, and we need a bill that provides for all the agencies that are involved in responding.  It is long overdue.  

This bill does not provide Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Department of Defense, and the immigration courts with the funds they need. 

In addition, the bill includes several provisions tying the Administration’s hands, including restrictions on foreign aid to Central American countries and stopping H.H.S. from changing policies that could protect unaccompanied children. 

We are out of time.  Some of our agencies are spending money they don’t have because they have “must-pay” bills for contracts for food, shelter, transportation, and medical care. 

People are waiting in terrible conditions in the desert, and summer is here.  Children are sleeping on the ground and need to be moved to shelters or homes. 

We need doctors and pediatricians. 

We need immigration courts to rule in a timely manner.  We should not force those who have submitted claims for asylum and other forms of relief to wait even longer.

The more time we spend on partisan measures, the longer it will be before help arrives to those who desperately need it. 

We need to act now on a bipartisan solution, and I urge my colleagues to reject this bill. 

I reserve the balance of my time.