SHAHEEN, MIKULSKI LEAD DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS EFFORT CALLING ON MCCONNELL TO PASS HOMELAND SECURITY FUNDING BILL WITHOUT EXTRANEOUS POLICY RIDERS
With Homeland Security funding set to expire, 45 Senators say clean, full funding bill for 2015 fiscal year urgently needed to maintain counterterrorism effortsJanuary 27, 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) are leading a full Democratic caucus effort calling on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to pass a clean bill that funds the Department of Homeland Security for the remainder of the fiscal year. The letter was 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.
"The message we are sending today is clear: we should not play politics with critical homeland security resources that keep our country safe,” Shaheen said. “Protecting our homeland from threats is one of our most important responsibilities here in Congress, and I hope Republicans will put aside partisanship to live up to this responsibility.”
“In light of recent events in Paris, Ottawa and Australia, the threat of ISIS and the proliferation of foreign fighters that return home radicalized, DHS funding should not be tied to divisive political issues that could jeopardize this critical funding,” the Senators wrote in their letter to McConnell.
The letter continued, “Every day, new threats emerge that endanger our citizens at home and our allies abroad. We should not cast doubt on future funding for the Department of Homeland Security at a time when the entire nation should be marshalling collective resources to defend against terrorism.”
The Senators urged the Majority Leader to “immediately schedule a vote” on the clean, bipartisan compromise funding bill that House and Senate negotiators reached in December, which would fund DHS for the entire fiscal year. Homeland security funding supports DHS and its related agencies, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Coast Guard, Secret Service, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, among others.
The full text of the letter is available here.
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