WASHINGTON, D.C., February 5, 2024 – United States Senator Katie Britt (R-Ala.) today released a statement regarding the supplemental national security bill that was released on Sunday night. The bill is expected to come to the Senate floor this week.
Senator Britt’s statement follows:
As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I was proud to see all 12 Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations bills publicly marked up and advanced by the end of July. Under the leadership of Senators Murray and Collins, this was a significant step forward towards restoring regular order and reinstituting responsibility, transparency, and accountability to the federal spending process. However, that was over half a year ago. During these past 193 days, not a single one of those appropriations bills has been enacted. And keep in mind that FY24 began 127 days ago.
Put this delay in another perspective—the President’s budget request for FY25 is statutorily due today, yet zero FY24 appropriations bills have been signed into law. Despite how monumentally behind schedule Congress is, Senator Schumer has not allowed an FY24 appropriations bill to come to the floor in 96 days.
The appropriations process is badly broken, and the result is a runaway national debt of more than $34.2 trillion that is being dumped onto the backs of our children and our children’s children. This supplemental funding bill – and the process by which it is slated to be considered – would only make things worse. Considering a supplemental funding bill at this juncture is nonsensical, because there is no base funding – FY24 appropriations are still up in the air. Simply put, how can we supplement something that doesn’t exist? It’s completely backwards.
Process aside, this supplemental funding bill would not stop President Biden from continuing his radical mass migration agenda. Perhaps most importantly, the legislation would not place any meaningful limits on Presidential abuse of parole, would not end ‘Catch and Release,’ and would not force this Administration to begin properly executing interior enforcement – three crucial elements of any strong solution to the ongoing border crisis.
There is no doubt that the Administration has willfully caused, fueled, and facilitated this crisis. Under the Biden Administration’s watch, there have been more than 8.8 million illegal crossings; this includes nearly 2 million known gotaways – we don’t know who these people are, where they’re going, or what their intentions are. The President’s catch and release spree has resulted in the non-detained docket skyrocketing to more than 6.2 million individuals. This includes a growing number – at least 1.3 million – who have final orders of removal. One related statistic jumps out. Under President Obama, the ratio of illegal encounters to removals was 1.3:1, while it is a shocking 22.5:1 under President Biden. At the end of the day, the President’s policies – including his 94 related executive actions – and his open borders rhetoric going back to the campaign trail in the 2020 cycle have combined to gravely endanger our national security while imposing devastating humanitarian and economic costs. It is unserious to think that this President and this Secretary of Homeland Security are all of a sudden going to exercise newly created discretionary authorities in the polar-opposite manner in which they have operated for three years. Remember—just three weeks ago, President Biden was still openly denying that a border crisis even existed.
President Biden has also made his intentions clear in his funding proposals over the past year. His budget request for FY24 – made when the crisis was already ablaze – proposed a 1% cut to the Department of Homeland Security. In his original supplemental request in August, the President then requested $1.4 billion for ‘border management,’ which is codeword for funding that acts as a magnet for more mass migration. This included $600 million for the Shelter and Services Program (SSP), which rolls out the red carpet for those who cross our border illegally. Then came his October supplemental request – when he increased his SSP ask alone to $1.4 billion.
At every step along the way, President Biden has made it clear that he doesn’t want to end the border crisis – he wants to enable it. Ultimately, this bill would not effectively block President Biden from executing that very agenda, and I won’t support it.