Lowey Statement to Rules Committee on Emergency Border Supplemental
WASHINGTON — House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey today delivered the following remarks to the House Rules Committee in support of an appropriate rule for the House to consider H.R. 3401, House Democrats’ emergency supplemental that provides $4.5 billion to address the humanitarian crisis at the Southern border:
Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the opportunity to come before the Rules Committee today to discuss House Democrats’ supplemental bill to care for the increased number of migrants crossing the border.
The pace of migrants crossing the Southern border has outpaced the funding provided to Department of Health and Human Services last October and Department of Homeland Security in February. These agencies will run out of money in a matter of days.
I am furious at this President’s continued obsession with using immigration raids that destroy communities to gin up his political base.
Democrats distrust this President because we have seen his cruel immigration policies and lawless behavior terrorize our constituents. That is why we have language to stop transfers of money for immigration raids and detention beds.
But we cannot allow our anger at this President to blind us to the horrific conditions at facilities along the border as the agencies run out of money. As the New York Times reported:
“Children as young as 7 and 8, many of them wearing clothes caked with snot and tears, are caring for infants they’ve just met… Toddlers without diapers are relieving themselves in their pants. Teenage mothers are wearing clothes stained with breast milk.”
I am appalled and disgusted that this is taking place in the United States of America in 2019. We must act. To that end, this emergency supplemental totals $4.5 billion and includes:
- $934.5 million for processing facilities, food, water, sanitary items, blankets, medical services, and safe transportation;
- $866 million to reduce reliance on influx shelters to house children;
- $200 million for an integrated, multi-agency processing center pilot program for families and unaccompanied children, with participation by non-profit organizations; and
- $60 million to assist jurisdictions experiencing a significant influx of migrants and non-profit organizations serving those communities.
In addition to funding, critical oversight provisions include:
- Placing strict conditions on influx shelters to house children by mandating compliance with requirements set forth in the Flores settlement;
- Protecting sponsors and potential sponsors from DHS immigration enforcement based on information collected by HHS during the sponsor vetting process; and
- Strengthening reporting requirements that allow Congress to carry out its oversight responsibilities.
I am pleased to be joined by our distinguished Labor-HHS-Education Chair Rosa DeLauro and Homeland Security Chairwoman Lucille Roybal-Allard. I appreciate their hard work in crafting this bill.
Mr. Chairman, I request an appropriate rule to bring this critical legislation to the floor. We must act now on this emergency legislation.