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Statement by Secretary Jeh C. Johnson on Yesterday’s Vote in the House on a DHS Appropriation Bill

Release Date: 
January 15, 2015

For Immediate Release
DHS Press Office
Contact: 202-282-8010

Yesterday the House passed H.R. 240, a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security. As introduced by Chairman Rogers, H.R. 240 was a good bill. It provided $39.7 billion in appropriations for the Department, and funded key homeland security priorities and initiatives. Regrettably, the bill was then amended on the House floor to include politically-charged language to defund our executive actions to fix the broken immigration system. The amended bill passed the House by a narrow margin; some Republicans did not even vote for it, and we have made plain that if the bill in this form comes to the President’s desk, his staff and I will recommend that he veto it.

Recent world events -- the terrorist attacks in Paris, Ottawa, Sydney, and elsewhere, along with the public calls by terrorist organizations for attacks on Western objectives -- call for increased vigilance in homeland security.

In these times, the budget of the Department of Homeland Security cannot become a political volleyball.

At present, the Department is operating on a continuing resolution due to expire on February 27. As long as this Department continues to operate on a CR, we are prevented from funding key homeland security initiatives. These include, for example, funding for new grants to state and local law enforcement, additional border security resources, and additional Secret Service resources to implement the changes recommended by the independent panel. Other core missions, such as aviation security and protection of federal installations and personnel, are also hampered.

I respectfully urge Congress to pass an appropriations bill for DHS as soon as possible, free of politically-charged amendments to defund our executive actions.

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Last Published Date: January 15, 2015
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