Washington, D.C. – Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) tonight issued the following statement on the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2019, legislation providing funding for one-quarter of the federal government, which included long-debated policy related to homeland and border security:
“I will not support a bill that falls so short that President Trump is forced to declare a national emergency to meet the growing needs at our southern border. I support President Trump using constitutional executive action to build the wall and keep our country safe, and I regret that Congress is putting him in this position.
“As a member of the conference committee charged with creating this bill, I hoped that this would be a transparent process, with vigorous debate and an outcome that improved the security of our country. Instead, we discovered that Democrats had already written a bill before our first meeting. This set the stage for a policy that is wrongly focused on handcuffing law enforcement, rather than known criminals who illegally cross our border.”
Rep. Graves served as one of 17 members of the conference committee charged with creating this legislation, referred to as a conference report. He frequently spoke out about the lack of committee meetings and called for greater public access to debate and information. Late last night, Rep. Graves was allowed to see the 1,159 page bill for the first time, and given only one hour to review it before he had to decide whether to give his signature of approval. He declined to sign his name.