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Price Floor Remarks on the Appropriations Resolution

June 12, 2015
Speeches
Price Floor Remarks on the Appropriations Resolution

Mr. PRICE of North Carolina. Madam Speaker, I thank our ranking member for yielding.

As the gentlewoman from New York suggests, the account of the history of this bill that Chairman ROGERS has just given needs to go back a bit further. The original failure in this case was in December. Today we are voting on a 3-week continuing resolution. I rise in opposition to that.

But this is only the latest manifestation of the majority's failure to govern this institution and to get the funding in place for the Homeland Security Department for the full fiscal year. The initial failure was in December. That is what we need to look back to and understand that it was a profound mistake to leave Homeland Security out of the omnibus appropriations bill.

This Department, and this Department alone, was put on a 3-month continuing resolution, rather than including the bicameral, bipartisan, negotiated Homeland Security bill that is the equivalent of a conference report.

People are talking about the need for a conference report. We already have our conference report. It is an agreed upon bill that the majority deliberately left out of the omnibus bill in December.

And why did they do that? They did it for political purposes, because they didn't like what the President was doing on immigration. They wanted to poke him in the eye. They wanted to add these riders enacting a radical anti-immigration policy, and they were willing to sacrifice regular funding for the Homeland Security Department in order to pursue their political objective.

Ironically, in passing a CR rather than the regular negotiated bill, they sacrificed increased funding for things they profess to care about. They are supposedly all about border security. They are all about immigration enforcement. And those very things were reduced by virtue of their failure to accept the negotiated bill, going down the road with a continuing resolution.

Now the clock has run out. The 3-month clock has run out, and here we are again. And today, we are about to compound December's failure by passing a 3-week CR, which doesn't solve the Department's basic problems but, in fact, just postpones the day of reckoning by a few weeks.

The Republican-controlled Senate has shown the way here. They have resisted the Tea Party siren, this desire to make the Homeland Security bill a vehicle for radical anti-immigration policy. The Senate will soon be passing the negotiated Homeland Security bill, the same bicameral, bipartisan, negotiated bill which we should have approved in December.

The Secretary of Homeland Security has made very, very clear that a continuing resolution is not an acceptable way to run this Department. State and local terrorism prevention and response grants will be held up, for example. For my State of North Carolina, that means $9 million in emergency management preparedness grants. It means $5.5 million in state grants. That is true of every State in this Union. The security upgrades at the White House are also on hold. The acquisition of the Coast Guard's eighth National Security Cutter is on hold. Construction of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility out in Kansas is on hold.

A continuing resolution is just what it says: It is a continued resolution which does not permit us to make the upgrades, to undertake the innovations, or to make the grants that our homeland security requires.

The House majority is still unwilling to follow the lead of the Senate and put that negotiated, bipartisan Homeland Security bill on the floor. So here we are, stuck with an inferior proposal, a 3-week continuing resolution which doesn't do the job. We should reject this.

The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mrs. Black). The time of the gentleman has expired.

Mrs. LOWEY. I yield the gentleman an additional 15 seconds.

Mr. PRICE of North Carolina. Where do we go from here? Where does this end? Some kind of conference? We already have a conference report. It is the bipartisan Homeland Security bill.