The House Liberty Caucus — a group whose members are among the most libertarian and pro-civil liberties in Washington — has announced their opposition to H.R. 2825, known as the Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act.
A statement from the caucus indicates irritation that the 575-page bill wasn’t made available to members of congress until nearly midnight on Monday, and the bill’s time for consideration wasn’t announced until Wednesday evening.
“This will be the first reauthorization of the Department of Homeland Security since its inception 15 years ago,” a statement from the caucus reads. “This massive department was created through the combination of 22 different departments and agencies, and today its components include CBP, the Coast Guard, FEMA, ICE, and TSA—touching on privacy issues, border protection, immigration, cyber security, anti-terrorism, and disaster response efforts, among other things.”
The caucus also calls for a debate within the House of Representatives for the bill, as it includes a massive amount of spending and representatives have had no time to discuss its provisions.
“Such a vast, significant piece of legislation demands debate and input from the full membership of the House of Representatives,” the statement from the caucus continues. “Instead, this bill overhauling the department and authorizing billions of dollars is being rushed to the floor, ensuring representatives have no time to vet its countless provisions.”
“Bringing H.R. 2825 to the floor when most representatives have not had an opportunity to read the bill, let alone debate it, breaks leadership’s promise of maintaining regular order and is yet another example of why the American people despise “business as usual” in Washington,” the House Liberty Caucus concludes.
The Liberty Caucus was founded in 2011, and is currently chaired by its founder, Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.). The caucus is dedicated to the principles of “limited government, economic freedom, and individual liberty.”
The bill was introduced in early June by Rep.Michael McCaul (R-Texas), and currently has eleven co-sponsors, including Reps. Tom Garrett (R-VA) and Mike Gallagher (R-WI).