The House Homeland Security Committee approved a $10 billion funding package for President Donald Trump’s promised border wall construction. The bill could be attached to legislation being debated to replace President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). “We have been talking about border security for many years. Now that we finally have a partner in the White House who has prioritized this issue, it’s time for Congress to do its part and get the job done,” Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul said in a written statement. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in both chambers to get this bill to the President’s desk so we can finally provide the American people with the security they have long demanded and deserve.” “The U.S. Constitution enumerates Congress’ authority to provide for the common defense of our nation,” Chairman McCaul continued. “Today the Committee passed legislation that will protect our homeland by strengthening the security of our borders. This is a 21st Century, multi-layered approach, which authorizes $10 billion for the construction of a border wall, $5 billion for the modernization of our ports of entry, provides other tactical infrastructure and cutting-edge technology, puts more boots on the ground, and better empowers the Department of Homeland Security’s Secretary to take other necessary actions to secure the border.” The provision funding the construction of the president’s promised border wall came as part of a border security spending proposal that will reimburse states for up to $35 million for their costs of using National Guard troops to supplement border security efforts in their state, The Hill reported. It also includes $5 billion to increase security at ports of entry. Democrats expressed their displeasure with the committee’s attempt to secure the nation’s border with Mexico. The committee’s ranking Democrat, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) attempted to change the name of the bill to the “Taking Americans’ Land to Build Trump’s Wall Act of 2017.” That proposal failed. Texas Democrat Rep. Filemon Vela attempted to attack snarky amendments that included adding the terms “big and beautiful,” “real,” “inclusive of a door,” and “paid for by the Mexican Government.” Those amendments also failed. “I appreciate the gentleman’s creativity in this amendment and sense of humor, but I will oppose this amendment,” Chairman McCaul responded to his fellow Texan. The Hill also reported that Democrats expressed concern that the bill is an attempt to tie border security to some type of replacement program for the executive action program, DACA. “There’s no doubt that this is a setup for that conversation,” Rep. Nannette Barragán (D-Calif.) told the committee.
We don’t want a “replacement program..” We want to get rid of the current one!! Kudos to this House Committee for moving forward with this. It’s long overdue!