Ratcliffe-led coalition: no August recess without vote on wall funding
WASHINGTON – Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) led a coalition of 16 Members of Congress this week in urging for the House not to break for its August district work period until it passes legislation to fund the construction of a border wall with Mexico.
“Protecting the American people is one of the most fundamental responsibilities of the federal government, and inaction on securing our border is no longer acceptable. We refuse to sit back idly while the can continues to be kicked down the road. One more casualty – one more life lost – is one too many. We’ve got to secure our borders now – no excuses,” Ratcliffe said.
The letter was signed by Reps. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Scott Perry (R-Pa.), Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), Jody Hice (R-Ga.), Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), Steve King (R-Iowa), Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.), Brian Babin (R-Texas), Blake Farenthold (R-Texas), Jodey Arrington (R-Texas), Ralph Norman (S.C.), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) and Kevin Cramer (N.D.).
The full text of the letter can be viewed below:
Dear Speaker Ryan and Leader McCarthy:
For decades, the American people have been told that the safety and security of our country is one of the principal responsibilities of the federal government. Unfortunately, the American people have been let down time and time again by lack of action on meaningful border security. The time for excuses has now ended; it is time for action.
The perils of a porous border are far-reaching and impact everyone. Illegal aliens take jobs that would otherwise be filled by hard-working Americans and continue to strain limited public resources that should be prioritized for U.S. citizens. With over 11 million illegal aliens present in the United States, we simply cannot afford to continue kicking the can down the road on this important issue.
Crimes by illegal aliens against Americans tear apart undeserving families and devastate their communities. One needs to look no further than the tragedy that took the life of Kate Steinle, a woman who was shot dead by an illegal alien who was previously deported and had illegally re-entered multiple times. Sadly, Kate’s death is not an isolated incident.
Open borders also invite drug trafficking, sex trafficking, gangs, and other nefarious activity into our homeland. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Drug Threat Assessment, Mexican Transcontinental Organizations remain the greatest criminal drug threat to the United States by controlling “lucrative smuggling corridors across the U.S. Southwest Border” that “are able to introduce multi-ton quantities of illicit drugs into the United States on a yearly basis.”
Additionally troubling is that rampant illegal immigration enabled by an unsecured border undermines the rule of law and trust in the legal immigration framework for those who do properly wait in line. Securing the sovereignty and integrity of our territorial borders is not optional. Rather, it is one of the key pillars of our government’s constitutionally-defined obligation to provide for the common defense.
In the 2016 election, the American people stood up and demanded that we take action on this issue. We have a mandate and an obligation to follow through.
Before the House departs for the upcoming district work period, we ask House Leadership to bring a bill to the floor that funds enhanced border security measures, including following through on a commitment made by President Trump: the construction of a border wall. We stand ready to roll up our sleeves and work – through August if need be – to get this done.
We are all privileged to serve in the United States House of Representatives where we work for the people. Let’s make sure our actions reflect their priorities.