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January 13, 2015

Thompson Floor Statement Opposing the Consideration of the GOP's DHS Spending Bill

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, delivered the following remarks on the House floor against H.Res. 27 – Providing Consideration for H.R. 240, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act:

Just over one month ago, I stood on this floor urging the Majority to allow Members of this chamber to fund the Department of Homeland Security in the Omnibus. The Majority did not listen. In the past month, even as the Majority plotted to punish the Department for the President's action on immigration, a series of terrorist incidents across the globe have brought into sharp focus the need for a fully-funded and fully-functioning DHS.

First, in Sydney, Australia, we witnessed a terrorist attack on a cafe where, at the end of a lengthy standoff, two innocent people laid dead. The crippling cyber-attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment's network raised awareness of the damage that hacks can do. Then, last week, in Paris, there were a series of terrorist attacks that have sent shockwaves beyond the borders of France. The execution-style murders of 12 members of Charlie Hebdo's creative team followed by the indiscriminate killing at a Jewish Supermarket are not simply tragic incidents. They serve as a reminder that the terrorist threats we face are evolving, and they are evolving quickly.

As Members of Congress, we have the responsibility to give the Department of Homeland Security the resources it needs to be dynamic and agile in its response to these evolving threats. The underlying DHS Appropriations bill under consideration today - although not perfect - could certainly pass both chambers and be enacted into law with the President's signature. However, the likelihood, dare I say inevitability, that one or more of the poison pill amendments that the Rules Committee approved will get attached ensures that the DHS shutdown showdown continues.

And to what end? The Majority decries the Administration's immigration actions, but offers no solution or alternative of its own. Instead, it plays and replays the game of: will we or won't we fund the government? This game of chicken has run its course. It is time to provide full-year funding to DHS so it can continue its critical mission.

VIDEO of the Congressman can be seen here.

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Media Contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978