January 30, 2019
WASHINGTON – House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Kay Granger (R-TX) delivered the following remarks at the first meeting of the conference committee on Homeland Security appropriations today.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a very important and unique charge in front of us today.
We have approximately 2 ½ weeks to come up with an agreement to secure our border, pass it through both the House and Senate, and get it to the President’s desk for a signature.
While both the House and the Senate produced Homeland Security appropriations bills last year, they didn’t receive a vote in either chamber – and that is what has led us to the situation we find ourselves in today.
Democrats said they would not negotiate on border security until the government was reopened. The government is now open and the negotiations start now.
I am optimistic that we will be able to reach agreement in support of the things experts on the border have said they need in order to secure our homeland and address the crisis we face.
In particular, I am hopeful that this conference will reach agreement in support of:
- Increased funding for technology, canines and personnel to help stop flow of illegal drugs, weapons and other contraband.
- The hiring of additional border agents, law enforcement and staff to help the Border Patrol carry out their mission.
- Resources to implement smart technology and barriers where Border Patrol experts have said they would be most impactful.
- Money to support our immigration court system, including hiring new immigration judge teams to reduce the immigration court backlog.
- Funding for humanitarian assistance, medical support and temporary housing for the most vulnerable, like women and children who are victims of human trafficking.
I have been to the border more times than I can count. I have talked to these families who are risking their lives and the lives of their children to come here.
I have heard the stories of Americans whose family members’ lives were cut short due to drugs and bad actors who seek to exploit our immigration system.
We owe it to all of these families to do something about this crisis.
We also owe it to the American people to get this right.
Each of us was elected by our constituents to find solutions to the challenges we face. I am hopeful that we can work together to do just that.
The hard work starts now, and I am honored to be leading the negotiations for House Republicans.