Rep. Miller Votes for House Legislation to Address Crisis at Southern Border; Calls on “Do-Nothing Senate” to Come Back to Washington to Finish their Job
Washington – Today, U.S. Representative Candice Miller (MI-10), Vice Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, issued the following statement after the House passed its supplemental appropriations legislation (H.R. 5230) designed to address the unprecedented flood of illegal unaccompanied children at our southern border, as well as legislation (H.R. 5272) to prohibit the President from extending amnesty for illegal immigrants under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program:
“As the humanitarian crisis has unfolded at our southern border, I voiced three priorities: one, to send the National Guard to help the Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection secure the border; two, to change the law to allow the federal government to immediately return those who cross our border illegally to their own countries; and three, to reduce foreign aid to help us accomplish those goals. I am very pleased that the House took action that accomplishes all three of those priorities.
“Today, the House passed legislation that allows us to immediately call in the National Guard to secure our border; reforms current law to allow for the expedited deportation of the unaccompanied children being illegally smuggled into the U.S; accelerates judicial proceedings of immigrant children; and strengthens repatriation efforts in Central America. Most importantly, the cost is completely offset with cuts to other spending and accomplishes these important priorities at no additional cost to taxpayers.
“Instead of using this crisis as a way to further increase federal spending, as suggested by the President when he requested $3.7 billion in new spending with no offsets to current spending, the short-term funding provided in the House bill is entirely offset by cuts to existing federal programs, including approximately $240 million in foreign aid, and is focused entirely on securing the border and returning those who have come here illegally in an expedient and humane way.
“Additionally, the House voted to prohibit the President from abusing his executive power to further grant amnesty to illegal immigrants, action that he is apparently considering once again by bypassing the legislative process, refusing to work with Congress.
“These bills include multiple components needed to secure our border and send a clear message to the countries complicit in this illegal activity putting innocent children in harm’s way.
“Even though we had difficulty in the House passing important legislation to secure the border and deal effectively with the crisis at the southern border, we understood that action had to be taken. So we stayed, and today, we got the job done and passed a good bill that will work.
“In stark contrast, the Senate rejected the President’s request to deal with the crisis at the border and packed their bags and went home. This should not be a surprise since this is how the do-nothing Harry Reid Senate has operated for years, as evidenced by the hundreds of House-passed bills dealing with a myriad of issues, including improving our economy, creating jobs, reducing energy prices and many more, that sit in the Senate with no debate and no votes. The only leadership in Washington on these issues is from House Republicans.
“The crisis at the border demands that the Senate get beyond business as usual and its do-nothing approach to government. Harry Reid should immediately call the Senate back, take up our bill, secure the border and deal with this unfolding humanitarian crisis.”
The House border supplemental (H.R. 5230) contains a total of $694 million for border security, enforcement of immigration and customs laws, humanitarian assistance, and illegal immigration prevention. This funding is targeted to meet the immediate needs surrounding the current border crisis, including funding for the National Guard, and will cover the estimated costs of these activities through September 2014.
The legislation is fully offset through cuts and rescissions of existing funds within federal agencies, including nearly $240 million from foreign aid, and will result in no new or additional federal spending.
H.R. 5272 prohibits the President from expanding the scope of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which grants amnesty to illegal immigrant children under the age of 16 who have been in the U.S. since 2007.