Perry Blasts the Border Security Offer and Spending Plan
Washington, February 14, 2019
Washington, D.C. - Congressman Scott Perry opposed the H.J. Res. 31, the legislative vehicle aiming to establish funding levels through the end of the fiscal year. The bill contains the language with the conference committee’s agreed to plan of $1.37 billion for border security, nearly $4 billion less than previously requested in December 2018.
“Ultimately, this is a bipartisan failure of leadership where Washington Elites have once again overlooked the needs and best interests of the American People. From the lack of transparency, to overriding House procedure, to overspending, to the lack of reasonable border security efforts, I unequivocally cannot support in its current form.”
H.J. Res. 31, a 1200 page bill was only release late yesterday. By the House Democrat Majority’s own rules, each bill must be given 72 hours between release of the text and a vote on the House floor. Democrats voted to waive this rule to allow for consideration in less than 24 hours.
“The complete lack of transparency in the Conference Report process is breathtakingly unfair to the American people. No one, including Members of Congress, can read and digest a 1200 page bill in less than 24 hours,” said Perry. “Members should have sufficient time to consider a bill before casting a vote, and House leadership won’t give us even that common courtesy.”
As the clock winds down to Friday at midnight, House Republicans have looked for alternative measures to prevent another government shutdown. Perry cosponsored H.J. Res 45, which authorizes a one week stop-gap spending measure to avert a shutdown and provide Congress with additional time to consider the conference committee’s proposal. The bill is still awaiting consideration but is not scheduled for a vote.
Perry also has deep seated concerns about the immigration policies contained in the bill. “This bill harms national security, public safety, and the American worker,” said Perry. “It allows for the release of criminal aliens, creating a situation where the federal government is complicit in trafficking of minors, and continues to perpetuate lax immigration policies that encourage migration in the first place.”
The sticking point of the spending plan is funding for border security. Late last year, Senate Democrats blocked a House bill that would have funded border security and kept the government open - resulting in a 35 day impasse and partial closure of the federal government.
President Trump’s original request was for $5.7 billion dollars and roughly 230 miles of physical barriers along the southern border, a proposal advocated for fervently by Perry.
“Since 2017, we fought to get the President the resources he needs to keep the country safe and secure the border. I was on the House Homeland Security Committee in the previous Congress and we passed the McCaul Border Bill, HR 3548, the Border Security For America Act. That proposal included $10 billion for deployment and construction of the border wall where applicable, as well as fencing, technology, air assets and other barriers along the 2,000 mile southern U.S. border. We’ve gone from talking about $10 billion and 2,000 miles to $1.37 billion and 55 miles- which isn’t enough to cover Mexico’s Southern Border, let alone ours; wholly unacceptable,” said Perry.
Perry also is struggling with the fiscal impact of the bill. “From what I’ve had the opportunity to analyze, we’re spending more in this bill than many of the federal agencies have even requested. The National debt just hit $22 trillion - We’re still spending more than we take in, and it has to stop.”
The bill has passed both the House and the Senate. President Trump has indicated he will sign the bill.