A newly proposed bill unveiled Tuesday by the House Appropriations Committee includes a total of $1.6 billion in funding to the Department of Homeland Security, to start the initial construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The bill would give a total funding allotment of $13.8 billion to customs and border protection, which includes:
- $1.6 billion for the wall
- $100 million for the hiring of 500 additional Border Patrol agents
- $131 million for new technology systems on the border
- $106 million for aircraft and sensors
- $109 million for non-intrusive inspection equipment
- $619.7 million additional funding to ICE
In total, the $44.3 billion proposed bill includes funding for many security measures, such as aviation security, border and immigration, customs, cyberterrorism protection, drug smuggling and natural disasters.
DHS spokesman David Lapan stated earlier Tuesday, “On the DHS side it’s clear that we’ve gotten a direction to secure the southern border, that a wall and barrier is part of that process along with people and technology and that funding from Congress is required for us to move forward on that.”
Several conservative lawmakers had threatened to not support any spending bill that did not include funding for the wall.
House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee Chairman John Carter stated Tuesday, “Keeping Americans safe by protecting our homeland is a top priority. This funding bill provides the resources to begin building a wall along our southern border, enhance our existing border security infrastructure, hire more border patrol agents, and fund detention operations.”
Bloomberg noted that the proposed bill is sure to set up a “clash” with Democrats that could lead to a government shutdown if it is not approved when the next fiscal year begins on October 1.
Democrat spokesman for the Appropriations Committee, Matthew Dennis, expressed his opposition to the proposal, stating, “Democrats will again draw a hard line against wasting taxpayer money to fulfill the president’s campaign applause line. The purpose of the Homeland Security bill is to make communities more safe and secure, and this pointless wall does nothing to accomplish that.”
One thing the bill ensures, for now – Mexico is not paying for the wall.
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