Congressman Ben Ray Luján on DHS Funding

Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District released the following statement tonight after voting for a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security for seven days. Congressman Luján continues to seek passage of a long term funding bill.

“By passing a seven-day funding bill tonight, we are laying the foundation to bring up a full-year funding bill next week rather than prolonging it for three weeks.  Tonight’s vote assures us that we will vote for full funding next week and put House Republicans’ irresponsible manufactured political crisis to an end.”

Earlier last week Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District spoke on the House floor on the importance of passing a clean funding bill to prevent the Department of Homeland Security from shutting down.  Below are his remarks.

“Mr. Speaker, we are only days away from a shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security.  When Republicans took control of the House and Senate they pledged to avoid more government shutdowns.  Instead, we’ve sadly learned that Speaker Boehner and Leader Mitch McConnell went nearly two weeks – two weeks – without talking and their failure to govern has us once again on the brink of a shutdown.

“I have been shocked and disappointed to hear some of my Republican colleagues say that a shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security would not be a serious issue and try to minimize its impact on people, minimize its impact on workers, and even try to minimize its impact on America.

“In my home state of New Mexico, a border state where we have many men and women who proudly serve our country as employees of the Border Patrol, the TSA, and other agencies, getting furloughed or working without a paycheck is a serious issue.  If Republicans continue down this path paychecks will stop but rent and mortgages and utility bills for these workers will not.

“Time and again House Republicans have failed to govern, moving only from one crisis to the next.  Sadly, the failure to fund DHS is the latest manufactured crisis that will have a real impact on working families in New Mexico and across America, while needlessly putting our national security at risk.

“It’s time for Congressional Republicans to stop putting their political security ahead of national security and pass a clean bill.  It’s time for House Republicans to stop catering to the extreme anti-immigration wing of their party that is willing to sacrifice our nation’s security in order to attack DREAMers who are going to college and serving our great nation.

“Mr. Speaker, the eyes of the American people are watching this Republican-led Congress, and so far all they have seen is gridlock and dysfunction.

“Mr. Speaker, the United States Senate is moving forward to fund the Department of Homeland Security.  House Democrats are ready to support a clean bill.  The only ones standing in the way of preventing a Department of Homeland Security shutdown are House Republicans.  For our country’s sake let us hope that changes.

“Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that the House bring up H.R. 861, the clean Department of Homeland Security funding bill that will keep the Department open so it can carry out its mission of keeping the American people safe.”