Rep. Wagner Statement on Letter Sent to Senator McCaskill Regarding DHS Funding

Feb 17, 2015
Press Release

Ballwin, MO—Congresswoman Ann Wagner released the following statement on a letter she authored with Representatives Sam Graves, Vicky Hartzler, Blaine Luetkemeyer and Jason Smith to Senator Claire McCaskill on H.R. 240, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act:

“Without action from the U.S. Senate, Department of Homeland Security funding will expire in 11 days. It’s critical that both houses of Congress act before that happens. The House has done its work and now the entire country waits on the Senate. That is why I and several of my House colleagues from Missouri sent a letter to Senator Claire McCaskill today requesting that she vote to allow an open and honest debate to proceed on the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act. 

“In contrast to the President’s policy of taking unconstitutional, unilateral actions on immigration, I consider a healthy debate and dialogue essential to our system of government. I do not expect Senator McCaskill to support the House legislation in its entirety, but I welcome Senate Democrats to join in on the legislative process by allowing debate on this important spending bill and proposing amendments where they see fit.

“Previous statements from many Senate Democrats, including Senator McCaskill, indicate that they disagree with the President’s use of executive power in the immigration debate. I agree and I, along with four of my House colleagues from Missouri, encourage the Senator to allow a frank and open debate in the Senate on these executive actions. The house has done its work, it's time to stop playing politics and time to place the people's priorities first. Missourians want to see a healthy debate and they want us to govern." 

Letter text below-

The Honorable Claire McCaskill
United States Senator, Missouri
730 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510


Dear Senator McCaskill,

On behalf of the people in Missouri, we respectfully request that you reconsider your recent vote to block full and open debate on the House-passed bill to fully fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), H.R. 240 the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2015.

President Obama’s executive actions on immigration represent an attempt by the President to unilaterally rewrite our nation’s immigration laws.  In response to these unconstitutional actions, the House approved the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill in January, funding this crucial agency while prohibiting funding for President Obama’s unconstitutional executive actions on immigration.

As you know, DHS funding will expire in 11 days. It is imperative that we work together to fund the critical functions at DHS to ensure Americans are safe at home and abroad. Our constituents and the American people demand action.

Furthermore, we remind you of your recent statement, “our immigration system is broken, and I support a comprehensive plan to fix it, but executive orders aren’t the way to do it.”  Many other Democratic Senators have also publicly stated that they oppose the President’s unilateral actions.  We urge you to stop protecting the President’s unconstitutional actions, and vote to fund a Department tasked with keeping Americans safe.

We recognize you may have disagreements with the House-passed bill; however, as elected representatives we believe those differences should be resolved through the democratic process. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has offered an agreement to Senate Democrats for an equitable amendment process. We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to offer constructive ideas that improve the underlying bill, and protect America’s national security.

As members of your constituency and fellow members of Congress, we sincerely hope you will strongly consider our request and vote to proceed on debate so that Congress can properly deliberate the merits of this important bill. We look forward to continued discourse among our delegation and Congress on this vital issue.