News Releases

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Isakson Calls on Senate Democrats to End Filibuster on Homeland Security Funding Bill, Check President's Executive Overreach on Immigration

'Let's get off the sidelines... and send the president a bill ...that says we want a secure border, we want an immigration policy that works and we want to once again be a government of checks and balances, not a government of executive orders.'

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today urged Senate Democratic colleagues to end their filibuster of the Department of Homeland Security funding measure. The bill would hold the president accountable for his lawless executive amnesty, while also providing funding for the Department of Homeland Security currently set to expire on Feb. 27, 2015.

The House-passed Homeland Security appropriations bill failed to advance in the Senate yesterday in a 51 to 48 vote with every Senate Democrat opposing the measure, preventing the Senate to debate the legislation. The procedural motion needed 60 votes to pass.

Isakson delivered the following remarks on the floor of the Senate today:

“I think it’s ironic that on the same day that the Islamic state tragically took the life of a Jordanian pilot that the United States Senate failed to get a 60-vote majority to vote to move to a motion to proceed to debate the most important issue that's facing the United States of America.

“I agree with my colleagues that have talked about the danger of Islamic terrorism, the danger of porous borders, all the dangers they talked about, but you can't solve those problems unless you get it to the floor and you debate it.

“We still have a porous border and we know how vulnerable we really are. It is time we move this bill to the floor and fully debate it. I know there are differences of opinion. I know each one of us would do it differently, but we are part of a constitutional government to make decisions for our people. We don't need executive orders dictating what we should do. We need a House and the Senate who come to common ground. We need a president who will sign a bill and we need a bill to be upheld.

“We're not going to get there until we have debate on the floor and move forward on a motion to proceed, debate the Department of Homeland Security.

“I just left a Foreign Relations [committee] hearing. It was on human trafficking. We talked about the terrors of what's happening in terms of sexual abuse, sexual trafficking, child labor, minority labor and all those things that are taking place. You know where they are taking place in our country? They are taking place on the border of the Southwest, the presiding officer's home state of Arizona (Sen. Jeff Flake) where our border is porous, and because of that, drugs and human beings are trafficked every single day. That should stop.

“The number-one issue when we debated the Homeland Security bill in [2007] was to put in a trigger to ensure that no changes in immigration law took place until we first secured the border. The border is still not secure. We're trying and I commend our brave soldiers and the state of Arizona … [who are] trying to identify the people coming in illegally, but we haven't done enough.

“We should bring the Homeland Security [funding] bill to the floor. We should make sure the funding for Homeland Security is sufficient to seal our border. We'll debate our differences and come to common ground, but we can't come to common ground, we can't resolve this problem unless we proceed to the motion to bring the bill to the floor for robust debate on this problem.

“Let's get off the sidelines. Let's come to the floor of the Senate. Let's vote on the motion to proceed. Let's fully amend and debate the bill. Let's send the president a bill from a unified Congress that says we want a secure border, we want an immigration policy that works and we want to once again be a government of checks and balances, not a government of executive orders.