Dear Friends—Following President Trump’s announcement to reopen the government until February 15, a committee of appointed Republican and Democratic lawmakers from both the House and Senate — known as a conference committee — immediately formed to find a solution to secure our border and keep our government open.
Let me explain what the purpose of a conference committee is. A conference committee is formed to iron out the disagreements that arise on certain bills that are passed by the House and Senate. Currently, the disagreement is on the funding for the Department of Homeland Security for Fiscal Year 2019. This disagreement is what ultimately caused a lapse in government funding.
As the top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, I was tasked with the position to lead the conference committee for House Republicans over the next two weeks.
In this position, I am the voice of House Republicans and will work across the aisle to negotiate an offer that allows our government to stay open and address the crisis at the southern border.
Our committee is faced with an important and unique task.
Over the next 11 days, I and 16 of my colleagues, must work together to come up with an offer to secure our border, pass it through both the House and Senate, and get it to the President’s desk for a signature
If a deal is not made, a second shutdown could happen.
I have traveled to the border and have seen firsthand what is at stake.
I am confident that we will reach an agreement in support of the things experts on the border have said they need to properly secure our homeland and address the crisis we face.
In particular, I am hopeful that my colleagues and I will reach an agreement in support of:
- Increased funding for technology, canines and personnel to help stop flow of illegal drugs, weapons and other contraband.
- The hiring of additional border agents, law enforcement and staff to help the Border Patrol carry out their mission.
- Resources to implement smart technology and barriers where Border Patrol experts have said they would be most impactful.
- Money to support our immigration court system, including hiring new immigration judge teams to reduce the immigration court backlog.
- Funding for humanitarian assistance, medical support and temporary housing for the most vulnerable, like women and children who are victims of human trafficking.
It’s time for Congress to start taking our national security seriously and give our men and women on the ground the tools they need.
We owe it to the American people to get this right.
I was elected by you to find solutions to the challenges we face, and I believe that with hard work and cooperation, my colleagues and I can work together to do just that.
The hard work starts now, and I am honored to be leading the negotiations for House Republicans.
As always, please feel free to contact our Washington, DC and Fort Worth office with any questions you may have.
Member of Congress