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Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. DICKS. It just seems to me that, we shouldn't be doing an amendment here on the floor when we really don't have all the information before us. Your side is in charge of Homeland Security. Peter King is the very able chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. There ought to be hearings on this issue if, in fact, TSA people are overstepping their bounds.

But to come here on the floor and try to cut off all funding, when we have no idea--the gentlelady had to rewrite her amendment several times, for God knows what reason. I mean, this is hardly the way to legislate.

So I urge the defeat of this scratchy little amendment, and let's go to Peter King and Bennie Thompson and ask them to hold hearings on this. Do this responsibly.

This amendment will be dropped. It isn't going anywhere, frankly, so you might as well face the fact that when we get to conference this is gone. The Senate will never agree to it. The administration would never agree to it, and they shouldn't.

If you want to do something that's constructive, go to the Homeland Security Committee and let them deal with it.

I yield back the balance of my time.


Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, I reclaim my time.

ICE itself has raised concerns about the cost effectiveness of the 287(g) program. With all due respect, this sounds like a program that both sides think isn't working that well. We ought to get rid of it. We could put this up on your wall as one of the things you've killed.

For example, under the 287(g) task force model, it costs $13,322 to apprehend one alien and $19,941 to remove them. If you compare that, as the distinguished ranking member did, with the Secure Communities program, it costs ICE $649 to apprehend one alien and $1,321 to remove them. That is more than 10 times less than the 287(g) task force model.

I would be glad to yield to my distinguished friend from Oklahoma to answer why you would want to keep the more expensive program if the Secure Communities program is working.


Mr. DICKS. Reclaiming my time, again, I would just ask the gentleman to contemplate that if we have a Secure Communities program that is dealing with this same issue and doing it at 10 times less for the taxpayers and this 287(g) program has had the inspector general all over it, why wouldn't we get rid of it if it is that expensive to do and use Secure Communities? This is just a commonsense thought here.


Mr. DICKS. I want to associate myself with the gentleman's comments and the chairman's comments on this amendment. We're talking here about homeland security, and we have been hit before. And we can't have a meat-ax, across-the-board approach. We would certainly oppose it if the other side was attempting to do it, and we have to have the same kind of discipline on our side.

I suggest, in good faith, to the gentleman from Colorado, if you've got all these reports and all these things about various programs that aren't functioning, offer amendments on each of those programs, and then we can vote on them and make a discerning decision. But just going across the board, I think, is the easy way out, and I urge rejection of the gentleman's amendment.


Mr. DICKS. In my own State of Washington, we had Ahmed Ressam, the millennium bomber. He came across from Victoria on a ferryboat, and as he was going through the search procedures, he showed anxiety. Because of that, he was sent over for a secondary screening. He got out of his car and ran, and he was captured, actually, by former prosecutor Dan Clem from Kitsap County, my home county. This is an example. This was a guy who was going to go to Los Angeles and blow up Los Angeles' LAX Airport. Because of his behavior and the alertness of the officers to know that this person was showing signs of anxiety, we were able to thwart that.

So I'm with the chairman and the ranking member here. Let's not do something precipitous. Let's defeat, as we always do, the gentleman's amendment.


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