McConnell on Border Security, Government Funding: It’s Time to Get This Done
‘We can’t let any unrelated, cynical partisan plays get in the way of finishing this important process. I understand, for example, that Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats are apparently objecting - objecting, believe it or not -- to a modest extension of the Violence Against Women Act… This authority will expire this Friday. Republicans believe that we should follow standard procedure and extend this important legislation through the end of this fiscal year, which is about seven months.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the need to secure our border and fund the government:
“Yesterday, Chairman Shelby, Ranking Member Leahy, and their House counterparts continued finalizing their legislative proposal to fund the government. Their negotiated solution would wrap up this year’s appropriations process and avoid another partial government shutdown. As our colleagues hammer out the final details, I’d like to thank them again for the cooperative, bipartisan efforts that have brought us to this point.
“The agreement reached on Monday was achieved because the conference committee set aside far-left poison pills and absurd demands. None of these radical non-starters was allowed to torpedo the process. Notwithstanding weeks of over-the-top rhetoric from Speaker Pelosi, the agreement did not cave to the far-left demand that no more than a single dollar go toward new barriers on the southern border. No, indeed, it provides well over a billion such dollars. The negotiators also prevented last-minute efforts to hamstring U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement with an unprecedented statutory limit on their ability to detain criminal aliens in the interior of our country.
“Instead, here’s what their agreement does provide. It provides another significant down payment on the president’s plan to secure our nation’s borders with new physical barriers and keep American communities safe. It provides nearly $1.4 billion for new barriers in the Border Patrol’s highest-priority areas, enough to build nearly twice as many miles as were funded last year. It gives ICE the capacity and the flexibility to continue responding to surges in illegal immigration. And it continues to provide the president with appropriate reprogramming authority, so he can direct additional funding toward urgent homeland security priorities should circumstances require.
“Of course, in addition to all this, the legislation will wrap up all of our outstanding regular appropriations bills and get the entire federal government funded the right way. It goes without saying that neither side is getting everything it wants. That’s the way it goes in divided government. If the text of the bill reflects the principles agreed to on Monday, it won’t be a perfect deal -- but it will be a good deal. I hope that our colleagues will complete the process of turning those principles into legislation soon and final text that can become law before this Friday’s deadline.
“We can’t let any unrelated, cynical partisan plays get in the way of finishing this important process. I understand, for example, that Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats are apparently objecting – objecting, believe it or not -- to a modest extension of the Violence Against Women Act. The Speaker is objecting to a modest extension of the Violence Against Women Act? This authority will expire this Friday. Republicans believe that we should follow standard procedure and extend this important legislation through the end of this fiscal year, which is about seven months.
“There are new Chairmen this Congress of both the Senate and House Judiciary Committees, and a modest extension of this authority would allow them to work on a longer-term reauthorization of this important law. In addition, a modest extension of this law is consistent with how this matter has been handled in the past. Every time that a continuing resolution was necessary in the past Congress, Republicans made sure it included an extension of the VAWA. I don’t know what cynical ploy my Democratic colleagues may be trying to pull, but surely no political maneuvering should be worth letting the Violence Against Women Act lapse this Friday – 2 days from now. So, it’s time to get this done.”
Related Issues: Appropriations, Immigration, Homeland Security