News Releases

Friday, July 27, 2007

Isakson, Chambliss Praise Passage of Amendment Calling for Emergency Supplemental to Secure U.S. Border  

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) today praised Senate passage of their amendment to the Homeland Security funding bill asking President Bush to submit an emergency supplemental spending bill to Congress to fund border security. The amendment was accepted unanimously, and the final bill passed by a vote of 89 to 4.  

"It is clear we have a crisis in confidence among the American people over our commitment to secure the border," Isakson said. "I would submit that the American people would tell you there's no greater emergency right now than securing our border, and I'm pleased my colleagues supported sending the message to the president that an emergency spending bill for border security would go a long way toward restoring credibility to our immigration system."

"This sends a strong message that border security must come first," said Chambliss. "It is a national security emergency that must be funded immediately and I am pleased our amendment was approved."

Their "Sense of the Senate" amendment expressed the following:

  • The American people continue to feel the effects of a failed immigration system on a daily basis, and they have not forgotten that Congress and the President have a duty to address the issue of illegal immigration and the security of the international borders of the United States;
  • There is unanimity that the Federal Government has a responsibility to, and immediately should, secure the international borders of the United States;
  • Securing the borders of the United States would serve as a starting point to begin to address other issues surrounding immigration reform on which there is not consensus;
  • The President of the United States can initiate emergency spending by designating certain spending as "emergency spending" in a request to the Congress; and
  • The President should request emergency spending that fully fund existing interior and border security authorizations that have not been funded by Congress as well as the border and interior security initiatives contained in the bill to provide for comprehensive immigration reform and for other purposes introduced in the Senate on June 18, 2007.

The Georgia senators also have sent two letters to the president emphasizing that border security must be de-coupled from other immigration reform measures. Additionally, Isakson and Chambliss told the president during a meeting with other senators on Capitol Hill that emergency supplemental funds to secure the border will go a long way towards restoring the confidence of the American people in the federal government's commitment to border security.