Rep. Roybal-Allard Floor Speech Opposing Funds for a Border Wall in the Continuing Resolution
On Thursday, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Ranking Member of the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks in the House of Representatives as Republicans attempted to force $5.7 billion for a border wall into the Continuing Resolution to extend government funding through February 8, 2019:
“Mr. Speaker, Democrats understand the critical responsibility we have: to keep our government funded and serve the needs of the American people. But, House Republicans are driving our nation to the brink of another disastrous government shutdown. Republicans, who control the House, the Senate and the White House, have the responsibility and the power to keep our government open. Yet, at a time of great economic uncertainty, and right in the middle of the holiday season, Republicans are refusing to stand up to the president, who has made it clear he’d be “proud” to shut down the government, if he cannot force American taxpayers to spend billions of dollars on an immoral, ineffective and expensive wall.
“The fact is that there are serious homeland security vulnerabilities that will not be addressed if the president is allowed to squander $5.7 billion on a border wall. This includes not being able to hire more law enforcement agents to focus on opioid, gang, trade, and child exploitation investigations. No funding to recapitalize the Coast Guard’s air and sea fleets, including the procurement of our first heavy icebreaker since the 1970s. As the Arctic ice recedes, Russia, China and other countries are winning the race to lay claim to the vast resources of that region, where at times there is no U.S. presence. There will be no funding to hire additional customs officers to intercept illicit drugs and other contraband, almost all of which comes into our country through the ports of entry. And, Mr. Chairman there will no increased funding for first responder grants to help states and localities better prepare and respond to terrorism and disasters of every kind.
“All of these funding needs have strong bipartisan support, yet, these critical national security needs simply cannot be met if we waste $5.7 billion on an overly expensive and unnecessary border wall. On Election Day, the American people sent a message that they want a government that works for them. Unfortunately, House Republicans continue to ignore them and are steering our nation into a Trump Shutdown.
“The Senate passed a clean, bipartisan CR extension to keep the government open. It’s time for House Republicans to do the same on behalf of the American people.”
Video of the Congresswoman’s speech can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjuMf1B6oH8