WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a letter, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich urged Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to pass a clean bill that funds the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the remainder of the fiscal year. The letter was signed by forty-five Senators, including two Independents calling for a DHS funding bill without extraneous policy riders attached. The letter also noted that the President would veto any piece of legislation that would limit his discretion on immigration matters.
"As we rapidly approach the date on which the Department of Homeland Security's funding expires, and as law enforcement officials face major threats to our nation's safety and security, we write with one simple request: work with us to pass a clean bill that funds Homeland Security for the remainder of the fiscal year," the Senators wrote in their letter to McConnell. "The House bill cannot pass the Senate ... The President has also made clear that he will veto any bill that expressly limits his authority to exercise prosecutorial discretion on immigration matters. While we agree our current immigration system needs comprehensive reform, including border security enhancements, this appropriations bill is not the place for this debate."
The letter continued, "Every day, new threats emerge that endanger our citizens at home and our allies abroad. We should not cast doubt on future funding for the Department of Homeland Security at a time when the entire nation should be marshalling collective resources to defend against terrorism."
The Senators urged the Majority Leader to "immediately schedule a vote" on the clean, bipartisan compromise funding bill that House and Senate negotiators reached in December, which would fund DHS for the entire fiscal year. DHS is operating on a continuing resolution which runs out at the end of February.
Homeland security funding supports DHS and its related agencies, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers, Transportation Security Administration, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, among others.
The full text of the letter is available here.