Cornyn, Schumer, McCaskill, Shaheen, Udall

Morning Business

Senator Cornyn: (2:55 PM)
  • Spoke on the Department of Homeland Security.
    • SUMMARY "It's a sad, important realization that the president, through his executive action, is disrespecting the very individuals who have played by the rules and who we do celebrate as great patriotic Americans. But apparently our friends in the minority don't even want to talk about it. So that's why they've stopped this bill, this funding bill, $40 billion to fund the Department of Homeland Security, and refuse to even talk about it, much less debate it. So they're going to come out here on the floor, I trust, and click through the days and say we only have three weeks until the department runs out of money. It's like the old story about the teenager who murders his own parents, and then he goes to court and he pleads for mercy because he says, judge, I'm an orphan. That's what our friends in the minority have done. This is a crisis of their own making. In fact, we don't want a crisis. We want to eliminate government by crises. That's why the House has passed the responsible piece of legislation they have. That's why we ought to take it up today. And if they don't like it, I know there are members on our side who disagree with certain portions of it, then we ought to debate it and we ought to vote."
Senator Schumer: (3:09 PM)
  • Spoke on the Department of Homeland Security.
    • SUMMARY "One option is to debate immigration fully and openly. The other is to play a game of "hostage." To say "We are kidnapping homeland security. And now let's have a debate on how much the ransom should be." No one in America wants us to legislate that way. I know my colleagues in the Senate didn't do that. It was the House that did it, led by the thinking of the senator from Texas, the junior senator from Texas. Not the senior senator. His view is, as I've heard him say, that what the president did on immigration is so awful that we should shut down the Department of Homeland Security as a way of forcing the president to go along with what the senator from, junior senator from Texas wants. Now, when are our leagues going to learn, on the other side of the aisle? They followed Senator Cruz a year and a half ago when he wanted to shut down the government over ObamaCare. They actually did shut down the government for a few weeks and were so widely excoriated by all Americans, or just about all Americans, they backed off. But they haven't learned. They are following the junior senator from Texas, Senator Cruz, into a cul-de-sac at best and over a cliff at worst."
Senator McCaskill: (3:15 PM)
  • Spoke on the Department of Homeland Security.
    • SUMMARY "This body passed a bipartisan immigration reform bill, by a wide margin. It wasn't even a squeaker. With many of my Republican colleagues voting for it, understanding that this is a public policy area in our country that needs to be addressed. We can't just make it a political punching bag on either side. My party can't say, we're for the immigrants, we get their votes. The Republican Party can't say we're for the tea party and we're against all immigrants. We need to come together and do public policy in a system that's broken. And the bill we passed here was amazing in terms of border security. But Speaker Boehner wouldn't take it up. For more than 18 months, Speaker Boehner wouldn't even allow it to be debated on the floor of the House. So now the Republicans are in charge. Do they take up immigration reform? Do they have a proposal? By the way, and that's the way you get rid of the president's executive order is we do our jobs, we do our job."
Senator Shaheen: (3:21 PM)
  • Spoke on the Department of Homeland Security.
    • SUMMARY "Since 2005, the combined budgets for customs and border protection and immigration and customs enforcement have grown astounding 97% - 97%, from about $8.5 billion in 2005 to more $16.7 billion today. The combined budgets for these two border security agencies now count for more than 42% of the entire Department of Homeland Security's discretionary appropriation. But Congress just hasn't thrown money at the problem. We've made wise investments to ensure that our borders are more secure than they've ever been. Since 2011 Congress has steadily maintained 21,370 border patrol agents. That more than doubles the size of this force since 2001 and over the past two years Congress has added 2,000 custom officers to help stop the flow of illegal drugs and prevent illegal trafficking while still facilitating legitimate trade. I've been down to the border crossing in San Diego. I've seen the advanced technologies that have been implemented to make sure that legitimate trade can get across the border and yet stop those people who are coming illegally. Congress has deployed enhanced border security technology, including integrated fixed towers, remote and mobile video systems, tethered aerostats and other technology to secure our southern border."
Senator Udall: (3:31 PM)
  • Spoke on the Department of Homeland Security.
    • SUMMARY "We may disagree on the specifics of immigration reform, but these dreamers have earned our admiration. They have earned our admiration. They should not be pushed back into the shadows by the House deportation bill. And the men and women who work to keep us safe, who screen more than a million people a day through our ports of entry, who patrol our borders and help secure our communities, they should not be a bargaining chip. In New Mexico we believe homeland security should be a priority, not a talking point. Secretary Johnson at D.H.S. has been very clear, key security initiatives are left waiting, and his predecessors have also been very clear. Last week, all three former D.H.S. secretaries, two of whom are Republican, sent a letter to the Senate leadership urging them to pass a clean funding bill. We live in a very dangerous world. We face terrorist threats at home and abroad. Recent events make that very clear. Now is not time to play politics with homeland security."