Langevin Supports Bipartisan Funding Deal to Avert Shutdown, Condemns Anticipated “National Emergency” Declaration

Feb 14, 2019 Issues: Budget, Immigration

WASHINGTON – Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), a senior member of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees, issued the following statement after voting in favor of the bipartisan agreement to fund the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year that passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 300-128:

“I voted this evening for a bill that was the product of bipartisan, good-faith negotiations. It is not perfect, but it avoids another costly shutdown and it sends a clear message to the President that we can find common ground and responsibly fund the government. The President’s antics regarding a border wall demean his office and have put federal employees and millions of other Americans at risk. Democrats support securing our border, and this bill includes needed investments in proven solutions like surveillance, increased staffing for immigration judges and more humanitarian aid. It does not include the unnecessary concrete wall that the President demanded. Any attempt by the President to use emergency powers to construct a wall would be an irresponsible – and likely unlawful – abuse of power.

“Of course, the bill goes far beyond measures for homeland security. It provides a down payment on a comprehensive infrastructure plan with over $17 billion in funding for new construction. It rejects the President’s proposed cuts to environmental measures, increasing funding for the EPA and restoring the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which protects ecologically sensitive habitats in Rhode Island. It also continues the Congressional commitment to fight the opioid crisis that is ravaging our state by providing over $3 billion for state and local law enforcement agencies.

“I recognize that we still have much to do to reform to our immigration system, protect Dreamers, and stop inhumane detention policies at the border and within the United States. I hope that the spirit of compromise embodied in this legislation carries forward into that debate. However, I fear the President will only poison the atmosphere again should he declare a non-existent “emergency” at the border. I urge him instead to sign this bipartisan funding agreement once it reaches his desk and work with Democrats in Congress to address the real challenges facing our nation.”