U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack is one of 30 Democrats calling on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to give President Donald Trump a guarantee that the House will vote on $5.7 billion for border security, a move aimed at ending the partial federal government shutdown now in its fifth week.
In a letter dated Thursday, the Democratic cohort said Congress should immediately begin debate on the Department of Homeland Security’s funding request when the federal government reopens. The letter says House action on supplemental funding for border security should be taken by the end of February.
Lawmakers also left open the possibility of tying border money to legislation that would expand protections for some immigrants living in the county who are or would be covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Temporary Protected Status or Deferred Enforced Departure programs.
Loebsack said in a statement he remains committed to ending the federal government shutdown, saying Democrats “have been willing to sit down and talk with the other side” since the immigration debate began. He added investment in border security can come in several ways, including more border agents and security technology.
“This kind of proposal would secure our borders and enforce the rule of law while not tearing apart families who have been here for many years,” Loebsack said of the terms outlined in the letter. “… There is no doubt that we must ensure our border is secure but playing politics and building a wall is not the answer to keeping Americans safe.”
Loebsack, who represents Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District, is the only Democratic member of the state’s congressional delegation to sign the request.