SHAHEEN, MIKULSKI INTRODUCE HOMELAND SECURITY FUNDING BILL TO MAINTAIN ESSENTIAL U.S. COUNTERTERRORISM AND SECURITY OPERATIONS

With homeland security funding sent to expire, Senators lead effort to pass full year funding bill

January 28, 2015

(Washington, DC) – Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) introduced Tuesday night a complete, clean bill to fund DHS operations through the remainder of fiscal year (FY) 2015. Shaheen and Mikulski used the House and Senate’s December DHS compromise to write their bill (S.272), and kept it free of extraneous policy riders that would threaten vital homeland security operations. DHS funding is set to expire at the end of February.

“We should not play politics with resources that protect our national security and fund the Department of Homeland Security,” Senator Shaheen said. “Using this funding as a political bargaining chip is irresponsible and jeopardizes critical resources that keep our country safe.

“We have a good bill that both the House and Senate have already agreed to that properly supports our homeland security operations,” Shaheen continued. “Now we should pass it.”  

“Funding the department charged with defending the nation against terrorism should not be controversial,” Senator Mikulski said. “In December, we worked across the aisle and across the dome to agree on funding for all of fiscal year 2015. The result was a bipartisan bill that we could and should pass today.”

Based on the negotiated agreement, Shaheen and Mikulski’s bill incorporates critical increases in funding and support for border security, cybersecurity, the Secret Service and other national security initiatives. The legislation would fully fund DHS operations for the remainder of FY 2015, and also includes complete disaster funding.

On Tuesday, Shaheen and Mikulski led the entire Democratic caucus in calling on Congress to pass a clean DHS funding bill, delivering a letter signed by forty-five Senators, including two Independents, who caucus with Democrats. Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) also supports a clean funding bill without extraneous policy riders attached.