February 27, 2015

Udall Votes for Critical Bill to Fund Homeland Security, Urges House Republicans not to Put Nation at Risk by Shutting Down DHS

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) joined a majority of the Senate in voting 68-31 to avert a shutdown of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The Senate bill would fund DHS through the end of the fiscal year and leave questions about President Obama's immigration initiatives for a separate debate. The bill now goes to the U.S. House of Representatives where Republicans are threatening to block funding for the entire agency over disagreement with the president about immigration.

Udall released the following statement:

"I am pleased that the Senate was able to come to an agreement to fund DHS, and I urge House Republicans to join us. Shutting down the very agency that was created to keep our communities and our border safe defies reason.

"A shutdown would have serious safety and economic consequences for New Mexico. Not only would it be an astronomical waste of money that would put our nation — and our state — at risk, it would disrupt border trade, force the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia to close, and cause over 2,000 employees in New Mexico alone to go without pay. I have heard from numerous New Mexicans who work for Border Patrol, FLETC and other DHS agencies, who say they can't afford to go without a paycheck for weeks while Congress fights.

"If DHS shuts down, it's not fair to punish employees and their families by forcing them to go without pay. So I will continue to fight for passage of a bill I introduced that would ensure workers at FLETC, Border Patrol and other DHS agencies get paid in the event of a shutdown. But I hold out hope that the House will do the right thing and work with us to fully fund the Department of Homeland Security."