Congressman Brian Higgins, D-NY-26, released the following statement in response to House of Representatives action on H.R. 240, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2015:
"Today the House of Representatives allowed what should have happened months ago: a vote on a clean bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security.
"For weeks, Congress played a game of chicken with America's aviation safety, disaster response and cyber-security. In addition to implications on public safety and our economy, this unnecessary and dangerous display of Washington dysfunction left dedicated Homeland Security employees, including over 2,000 workers here in Western New York, worried that they might not receive the earnings they rely on to support their families. The men and women who protect our borders and airports deserve better.
"America is facing serious threats from interests abroad who wish to do harm to the U.S. and our allies. Playing politics with our homeland security is simply unacceptable. I hope lessons learned through this process will provide for bipartisan efforts to advance America's priorities moving forward."
The bill passed by the House today is identical to H.R. 861, cosponsored by Higgins, a member of the House committee on homeland security. The legislation provides $39.7 billion in funding for the Department of Homeland Security through Sept. 30 - the end of the fiscal year.
Congressman Chris Collins, R-NY-27, issued his own statement:
"It is my responsibility to Western New Yorkers to ensure the funding needed to guarantee their security is provided. Political theatrics should never endanger Americans' safety. Today I voted to make sure that did not occur.
"Lurching from one crisis to the next might make for lucrative political fundraising, but it does not make for good government. It is time we end the political 'Groundhog Day' and fulfill the jobs we were elected to do: creating an environment conducive to job creation and addressing the needs of the people who elected us."