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Granger Praises House Passage of Homeland Security Compromise Plan, Remaining Appropriations Bills


Washington,
February 14, 2019

WASHINGTON – Today, the House voted to keep the government open by passing H.J. Res. 31. The bill – which passed the House 300-128 – will fund the Department of Homeland Security and includes the remaining appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2019.

Top Appropriations Committee Republican Kay Granger (TX12), who was the lead House Republican on the Conference Committee and was instrumental in reaching a final agreement took to the floor before the vote to encourage her colleagues to vote for the measure.

“Earlier this month, I had an opportunity to travel to the southern border to see firsthand the situation we face and hear from experts on the ground about the best way to address the crisis there.  The President is correct, this is a crisis that must be addressed – both for the safety and security of the American people and the wellbeing of those who are coming here.

“While this bill falls short of what I would have liked to see, it will provide our Customs and Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents the tools necessary to continue combatting the threat we face. It is a good down payment that will allow us to build new barriers in the areas that the Border Patrol says it is needed most,” explained Granger.

The Senate passed the legislation earlier in the day, and President Trump has said that he will sign the bill into law.

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Full text of Granger’s Speech on the floor:

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of House Joint Resolution 31, a bipartisan plan to fund the Department of Homeland Security and the remaining appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2019.

Earlier this month, I had an opportunity to travel to the southern border to see firsthand the situation we face and hear from experts on the ground about the best way to address the crisis there.  The President is correct, this is a crisis that must be addressed – both for the safety and security of the American people and the wellbeing of those who are coming here.

We have a responsibility to come together and support what experts on the border say they need to address this security and humanitarian crisis.

While this bill falls short of what I would have liked to see, it will provide our Customs and Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents the tools necessary to continue combatting the threat we face.

In particular, this bill provides $1.375 billion for 55 new miles of wall or physical barriers, as well as additional technology to combat human and drug trafficking. This is a good down payment that will allow us to build new barriers in the areas that the Border Patrol says it is needed most.

The bill also supports Immigration and Customs Enforcement priorities by funding detention beds at a higher level than the amount enacted last year. This will allow agents the flexibility to address surges in illegal immigration and apprehensions.

It also does not include any limits on ICE enforcement actions that could cause dangerous criminals to be released into our country.

The agreement prevents another unnecessary shutdown by including funding for the remaining unfunded appropriations bills: Agriculture; Commerce, Justice and Science; Financial Services and General Government; Interior; State and Foreign Operations; and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development

By voting for these bills today and funding these vital areas of the federal government, we will secure America and our allies, promote economic prosperity, protect human life, promote the health and safety of all Americans, and make vital investments in our nation’s infrastructure.

Mr. Speaker, it would take hours to go through all of the bipartisan provisions included in this bill. So let me take a few minutes to discuss some of the highlights. By voting for this legislation today:

  • We increase funding for federal law enforcement to combat terrorists, espionage, drug traffickers, gangs, and violent criminals.
  • We combat the financing of terrorism and terrorist groups and strengthen the development and enforcement of sanctions against Iran, North Korea, Russia, and Cuba by providing increased funding for the office of terrorism and financial intelligence.
  • We keep our commitment to Israel’s security by fully funding the new Memorandum of Understanding.
  • We encourage economic development and job creation in rural communities across the country.
  • We boost growth and development of America’s small businesses by providing the opportunity to obtain capital through various small business administration loan programs.
  • We provide funding necessary to implement the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. This will ensure that American families are keeping more of their hard-earned dollars, our small businesses are empowered to grow and expand, and investments are flowing to communities that need it most.
  • We maintain all pro-life language included in the various bills enacted during the 115th congress under the Republican Majority.
  • We advance drug treatment and recovery initiatives and improve prevention and enforcement by investing in justice grant programs that support things like prescription drug monitoring and at-risk youth programs.
  • We increase and focus funding on medical product safety including funding to fight opioid abuse. We advance drug and biological product manufacturing within the United States and approve rare disease medications. We modernize generic drug development.
  • We provide increased funding for the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Forest Service to fight devastating wildfires that threaten our communities.
  • And we ensure rural areas have the same access to basic utilities that urban areas do by investing in critical infrastructure.

I want to thank my colleague and friend, Chairwoman Lowey, for all of her had work in these negotiations. As always, she has been an honest broker and a tough negotiator throughout this process, and I look forward to continuing to work with her this Congress.

I also want to thank our partners on the other side of the capitol, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Shelby and Vice Chairman Leahy for their hard work. And all of the Members of the Conference Committee, especially the other House Republicans—Congressmen Fleischmann, Palazzo and Graves.

Finally, I want to thank the hardworking staff of the Appropriations Committee for their tireless work—over the last three weeks in particular.

I urge my colleagues to vote yes on this measure, and I reserve the balance of my time.

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