Heinrich Votes To Approve Responsible, Full-Year Homeland Security Funding Bill, Urges House Republicans To Do The Same
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 27, 2015) - Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) voted to approve a spending bill that funds the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for the remainder of the fiscal year and does not include additional anti-immigrant provisions or unfairly target DREAMers. He urged House Republicans to reconsider their risky plan to let our nation's security personnel to go unpaid.
The DHS funding bill has been held hostage over House Republicans' politically-charged protest against President Obama's action to fix our broken immigration system. Without Congressional action, funding for DHS is set to run out at midnight.
"Shutting down the Department of Homeland Security threatens our security and public safety, and has real consequences for New Mexico," said Sen. Heinrich. "I urge my Republican colleagues in the House who want to use this funding bill as a way to deport DREAMers, to stop putting politics before security and work with the Senate to pass a responsible, full-year Homeland Security funding bill."
Homeland Security funding supports critical agencies in New Mexico, including the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia, among several others. If funding expires, it is expected that approximately 85 percent of DHS employees will be asked to work without pay, while others will be furloughed. Senator Heinrich is a cosponsor of legislation that would ensure DHS employees get paid if the department's funding expires.
Senator Heinrich also highlighted the federal grants -- critical to fire departments across New Mexico -- that are in jeopardy if House Republicans refuse to pass a full-year DHS spending bill. New Mexico relies on millions of dollars in federal grants through DHS to help local fire departments purchase new equipment, protective gear, and emergency vehicles. Between 2002 and 2014, New Mexico received a total of $238 million in FEMA Preparedness grants through DHS, including $7.84 million in Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) grant funding and $1.38 million in Fire Prevention & Safety (FP&S) grant funding.