Thursday, July 31, 2014
Contact: Vince Morris (202) 224-1010
CHAIRWOMAN MIKULSKI STATEMENT ON REJECTION OF EMERGENCY BILL FOR IRON DOME, WILDFIRES & BORDER
WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement this evening following the rejection of the emergency supplemental funding bill:
“I am disappointed that we could not overcome the opposition to our efforts this evening to provide funds for Iron Dome, fighting wildfires and addressing the crisis on our Southwestern border.
“Israeli citizens are being bombarded with missile after missile. The critical Iron Dome missile defense system that Israel uses is already saving lives and protecting towns and cities from the more than 2,700 rockets fired by Hamas in the last few weeks. Israel is an essential American ally and needs these assets to defend itself. The Mikulski bill would have provided $225 million to replenish Iron Dome interceptor missiles.
“This supplemental also would have allowed us to fight fires in the West by providing $615 million. There are currently 27 large fires that are sending homes and communities in 8 states up in smoke. And it would have allowed us to address the humanitarian crisis at our border by providing $2.7 billion to meet the needs of children seeking refuge and to crack down on criminal traffickers who endanger the children.
“Failing to act is irresponsible. This vote was a vote against our treasured alley Israel. Now they will have to wait to replenish the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system. And it’s a vote against our firefighters, who are fighting raging fires in the West. The Forest Service will instead have to use funds intended to prevent fires.
“I’m disappointed that we could not overcome the opposition to our efforts to provide $2.73 billion in emergency funding for the Southwest border. Already 62,000 children have arrived. More than 90,000 are expected by the end of this year. These children are not the threat, or the crisis. They are seeking refuge from the threat: violence from organized crime, gangs, and vile human traffickers in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
“Because we did not act, the Department of Health and Human Services will not be able to issue new contracts for less expensive shelter space for the children. There will be no new judges and legal support to help the children get due process in determining their legal status. We’ll instead empower the coyotes, the cartels and the traffickers by delaying enforcement actions for at least six weeks. Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents will continue their missions but will do so by taking funds away from other Homeland Security missions. And by objecting to Iron Dome funding, we leave Israel without the resources to replenish an essential self-defense system.”
Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies
State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs