U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Calls for a Clean Homeland Security Funding Bill

With Homeland Security funding set to expire, full funding bill for 2015 fiscal year urgently needed to maintain counterterrorism efforts

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management (FSO) and member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, joined a full Democratic caucus effort this week calling on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to pass a clean bill that funds the Department of Homeland Security for the remainder of the fiscal year. The letter was signed by forty-five Senators, including two Independents, who caucus with Democrats. Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) also supports a clean funding bill without extraneous policy riders attached.  

“At a time when we are facing threats both at home and from abroad, the Department of Homeland Security and its related agencies play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of communities throughout Wisconsin,” said Senator Baldwin. “The idea of playing politics with the funding of the Coast Guard, which keeps the Great Lakes open and supports our Made in Wisconsin economy, or creating uncertainty when it comes to the availability of FEMA grants, which are a lifeline for many of our local first responders, should be of major concern to Wisconsinites. I urge Majority Leader McConnell and Chairman Johnson to stop using these divisive political tactics and put an end to this uncertainty that is undermining our nation’s security.”

“In light of recent events in Paris, Ottawa and Australia, the threat of ISIS and the proliferation of foreign fighters that return home radicalized, DHS funding should not be tied to divisive political issues that could jeopardize this critical funding,” the Senators wrote in their letter to McConnell.

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.  Homeland security funding supports DHS and its related agencies, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Coast Guard, Secret Service, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, among others.

The full text of the letter is available here.