Granger Remarks on Homeland Security FY21 Subcommittee Markup

Jul 7, 2020

I would like to thank the Chairwoman for presenting the fiscal year 2021 Homeland Security appropriations bill. I would also like to recognize Ranking Member Fleischmann for his leadership on the subcommittee.

All of our states and communities are experiencing a public health crisis, and the Department of Homeland Security is one of the agencies on the front lines. The Department has demonstrated over and over again how important it is that they have the resources to protect our nation from threats.

This Department has many important functions:

  • Protecting our country from criminal organizations engaged in trafficking and smuggling, 
  • Preventing disruptions of our computer networks,
  • Ensuring secure air travel, and
  • Enforcing immigration and customs laws.

That is why I am particularly concerned about some of the choices made in this bill.

No funds are made available for construction of the wall along the southwest border.

Not only does the bill exclude the $2 billion requested, it prevents any other federal funding from being spent for this purpose.

The bill also rescinds funds previously made available for the wall – effectively reversing the negotiations that brought about last year’s agreement.

Once again, this bill attempts to stop the Department’s ability to uphold immigration laws by limiting funds for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

I cannot support a situation where ICE is so constrained that they cannot remove criminals from our communities or deport those that have been issued an order from the courts.

We will not solve our nation’s immigration problem if we simply starve this agency of critical resources to the point that it is unable to implement and enforce the laws on the books. This will only make our country less safe.

I want to work to resolve these issues and craft a Homeland Security bill that addresses our most pressing needs and can be signed into law by the President.

In closing, I want to thank the Members of the subcommittee for their work on this very important and complex bill. These are life and death matters for everyone in our country, and we must continue our efforts to find common ground.

I also want to thank the staff – on my Committee staff, Dena Baron and Adam Koziatek – and all of the Majority staff.

I also want to wish a very happy birthday to Anne Marie Chotvacs, my staff director. She is my right hand, and I would not want to do any of this without her.

You all know Anne Marie so this will come as no surprise, except to Anne Marie who did not know I was going to do this.

When I asked Anne Marie what she wanted for her birthday, she said she would like the whole appropriations process to get completed in two weeks and that she would like five subcommittee markups on the day of her birthday.

Chairwoman Lowey agreed to that, and we are happy to provide you with your birthday wish. Today is for you.

Thank you, Madam Chair, I yield back.