By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Monday, February 23, US Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) urged Senate Democrats to end the impasse over funding for the Department of Homeland Security.
Congressman Byrne said, “Let’s be clear here: Senate Democrats are refusing to even let debate begin on the House-passed funding bill. If Democrats don’t like the current bill, then they should allow debate to move forward and offer amendments. Instead, they are shutting down the entire legislative process.
On January 14, the Republican controlled US House of Representatives passed a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security but did not fund President Barack Obama’s executive action to provide amnesty to approximately five million illegal immigrants currently in the United States. Republicans argue that President Obama’s actions are illegal and unconstitutional. Congressman Byrne voted for the legislation in the House.
The American people gave Republicans control of the US Senate for the first time since 2006 in the 2014 elections; but Senate Republicans retained rules in the Senate requiring 60 Senators to vote to cut off debate. The Republican majority can not get enough Senate Democrats to support the bill to shut down debate in order for a vote to occur on the bill.
Funding for the Department of Homeland Security will run out on Friday, if the Senate does not act.
Rep. Byrne said, “The House has done our job and passed a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security while also halting President Obama’s plan for illegal executive amnesty. Now, Senate Democrats are blocking the funding bill. Are Senate Democrats so committed to President Obama’s radical agenda that they are willing to play politics with our national security?”
US Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) has led the opposition to President Obama’s amnesty proposal. Sen. Sessions said recently, “What the President is doing is giving lawful status to over 4 million adults—persons who entered our country against the law or came in on visas and illegally overstated. These persons cannot be hired by any business or employer under current law. But the President wants to work anyway. Congress considered and rejected this plan. The result is that the President’s plan will be a further kick in the teeth to down and struggling American workers. The facts are clear. I have not seen them disputed.”
Sen. Sessions said after a federal judge in Texas ordered President Obama to stay his controversial program, “We cannot and must not establish the precedent that we will fund illegal actions on the hope that another branch of government will intervene and strike down that illegal action at some later point… Today’s ruling should furnish our colleagues with yet one more reason to end their filibuster… President Obama has already shut down the Department of Homeland Security by ordering tens of thousands of immigration officers and agents to violate our laws and their oaths, sabotaging immigration enforcement and border control. Republicans are trying every day to restore Homeland Security – only a Democrat filibuster stands in the way.”
Rep. Byrne said, “The American people have had enough of these childish antics. I implore Senate Democrats to stop playing politics and to move forward with our House-passed bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security.”
Congressman Byrne represents Alabama’s First Congressional District.