Hoosier Delegation Urges Donnelly to Allow Debate on DHS Funding Bill

Thursday, February 12, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC On Thursday, seven Hoosier Lawmakers penned a letter to Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly requesting that he reconsider three recent votes to block full and open debate on the House-passed bill fully funding the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), H.R. 240, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2015.

“As you know, DHS funding will expire in 15 days. It is imperative that we work together to fund the critical functions at DHS to ensure Americans are safe at home and abroad. Our constituents and the American people demand action,” said the members.

Senator Donnelly is one of eight Senators who previously claimed they do not agree with President Obama’s unilateral executive action on immigration. These same eight Senators subsequently voted three times to prevent debate on the House-passed bill fully funding DHS and defunding the President’s proposal. The bill would proceed to an open debate and amendment process with their support.

The members went on to write, “We recognize you may have disagreements with the House-passed bill; however, as elected representatives we believe those differences should be resolved through the democratic process. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has offered an agreement to Senate Democrats for an equitable amendment process. We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to offer constructive ideas that improve the underlying bill and protect America’s national security.”

The letter was signed by Representatives Larry Bucshon (IN-08), Susan Brooks (IN-05), Luke Messer (IN-06), Todd Rokita (IN-04), Marlin Stutzman (IN-03), Jackie Walorski (IN-02) and Todd Young (IN-09).

The full text of the letter is below and an official copy with signatures is available here.

Full Text of Letter to Senator Donnelly:

February 12, 2015

The Honorable Joe Donnelly
United States Senator, Indiana
720 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Donnelly,

On behalf of the people of Indiana, we respectfully request that you reconsider your recent votes to block full and open debate on the House-passed bill to fully fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), H.R. 240 the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2015.

As you know, DHS funding will expire in 15 days. It is imperative that we work together to fund the critical functions at DHS to ensure Americans are safe at home and abroad. Our constituents and the American people demand action.

Furthermore, we agree with your November 20, 2014 declaration that Congress has the sole authority to alter immigration law and that, “…the president shouldn’t make such significant policy changes on his own.”[1] President Obama made similar claims on 22 different occasions. Unfortunately, your three votes[2] to prevent debate from proceeding last week cannot be reconciled with your previous statements or the president’s.

We recognize you may have disagreements with the House-passed bill; however, as elected representatives we believe those differences should be resolved through the democratic process. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has offered an agreement to Senate Democrats for an equitable amendment process. We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to offer constructive ideas that improve the underlying bill and protect America’s national security.

As members of your constituency and fellow members of Congress, we sincerely hope you will strongly consider our request and vote to proceed on debate so that Congress can properly deliberate the merits of this important bill. We look forward to continued discourse among our delegation and Congress on this vital issue.

Respectfully,

Rep. Larry Bucshon, M.D.
U.S. Representative (IN-08)

Rep. Susan Brooks
U.S. Representative (IN-05)

Rep. Luke Messer

U.S. Representative (IN-06)

Rep. Todd Rokita
U.S. Representative (IN-04)

Rep. Marlin Stutzman

U.S. Representative (IN-03)

Rep. Jackie Walorski
U.S. Representative (IN-02)

Rep. Todd Young
U.S. Representative (IN-09)

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