‘Insulting’: Congressional Spending Bill Cuts Out Series Of Border Security Provisions

The congressional spending bill introduced on Thursday lacks funding for several border policies favored by the GOP.

Leadership in the House and Senate introduced a bipartisan $1.2 annual appropriations bill that must be voted on by Friday to avoid a looming partial government shutdown. The bill cuts out several funding proposals that had been previously introduced by Republican lawmakers, including measures on the border wall, detention of illegal migrants, asylum laws and curbs on left-leaning policies. (RELATED: Mayorkas, DHS Get Massive Funding Boost In House’s Newest Spending Bill)

House Republicans passed H.R. 4367 in 2023, which, had it passed in the Senate, would have set a budget for the Department of Homeland Security; one of the provisions in that bill ensured that none of the appropriated funds to DHS could “be used to dismantle, demolish, remove, or damage existing United States-Mexico physical barriers at any location where such barriers have been constructed,” according to the bill text. The appropriations bill introduced Thursday has no such provision, and likewise does not contain a rule introduced in H.R. 4367 that would ban DHS from reallocating border wall funding.

The majority of Americans support the construction of a physical barrier or border wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, according to a Feb. 26 Monmouth University poll.

Republicans cannot approve government funding for the Biden administration to continue this disaster. The future of our country is at stake. https://t.co/242JkatIjy

— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) March 21, 2024

The appropriations bill does not contain a provision that would obligate DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to prioritize Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) funds for the detention of migrants and GPS tracking for non-detained migrants, a proposal that was included in the H.R. 4367 bill. It also does not contain a rule introduced in H.R. 4367 that would prevent funding from going toward enforcing “Procedures or Credible Fear Screening,” a process in which an asylum officer determines if an incoming migrant has a credible fear of being persecuted in their home country; a migrant could qualify for asylum if credible fear is established.

H. R. 4367 contained a rule that would ban DHS from using appropriated funds to “transport aliens unlawfully present in, paroled into, or inadmissible to the United States” into the country, barring “purposes other than enforcement of the immigration laws,” according to the bill text. The appropriations bill does not contain such a measure.

The appropriations bill does not contain several provisions introduced in H. R. 4367 that would have rolled back leftist policies. H. R. 4367 would have prohibited ICE funds from being used “to facilitate an abortion,” except when the life of the mother is in peril, which is not included in the appropriations bill. The appropriations bill also does not include a measure that prohibits DHS funds from going toward “administer[ing] hormone therapy medication or perform[ing] or facilitat[ing] any surgery” on a migrant in ICE custody “for the purpose of gender-affirming care.”

Every Republican who votes for this omnibus spending bill is voting for those gangs, voting for those murderers and rapists, voting for the surrender of American sovereignty. https://t.co/uvL0ySBZ3I

— Chip Roy (@chiproytx) March 21, 2024

Nor does the appropriations bill include a provision introduced in H. R. 4367 that defunds DHS’ enforcement of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and critical race theory (CRT) initiatives. The appropriations bill does not contain H.R. 4367 measures that would have also prohibited funding for a DHS-run “Disinformation Governance Board.”

Several House and Senate Republicans were discontent with the appropriations bill.

“The Uniparty’s $1.2 trillion minibus would use taxpayer dollars to fund benefits for illegal aliens, late-term abortions, and DEI initiatives across the nation,” Republican Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs said on Thursday. “It is insulting to hardworking Americans and the issues that matter to them.”

“Every member of the House GOP that votes for this bill owns this anti-Israel funding and every other bad policy, the atrocious spending levels, and the continued abusive and dangerous open borders,” Republican Texas Rep. Chip Roy said on Thursday.

The House and Senate have until Friday to either pass the appropriations bill, approve a continuing resolution or face a government shutdown. Some lawmakers expressed concern that there isn’t enough time to review the over 1,000-page bill before the vote.

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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