Rep. Ted Budd Requests “Robust Funding” for Border Wall From House Appropriations
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) sent two letters to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security requesting “robust funding” for the border wall and border agents, and for that funding to only be spent on border wall designs approved by the Trump administration.
The full text of the letters are below:
As you begin work on the Homeland Security appropriations bill for fiscal year 2023, I respectfully urge the subcommittee to provide funding to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection that will allow it to regain operational control and secure the southern border. This funding is especially critical as the end of Title 42 next month is expected to cause a surge in illegal migration beyond the already historic levels seen in 2021. To that end, I ask that you include robust funding for the below programs which seek to secure our southern border, maintain national security, and support our agents on the ground:
The sharp increase in illegal immigrants crossing the border has reached a crisis point. Last year, Border Patrol encountered more than 2 million illegal immigrants at the border. Encounters in the first two months of 2022 up more than 78% compared to the same time last year. Providing strong and sustained funding for each of these programs is critical to addressing the crisis on our southern border. Thank you for your consideration of this request to provide the funding necessary to address the influx of illegal immigration and secure our border.
As you begin work on the Homeland Security appropriations bill for fiscal year 2023, I respectfully urge the subcommittee to include language from the fiscal year 2020 bill that ensures border wall funds will go to effective designs that are already deployed on the border and prioritize agent safety. Specifically, the section 209(b) of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2020 (Pub. L. 116-93, Division D) limits funding to operationally effective designs deployed as of May 5, 2017, or operationally effective adaptations of such designs that help mitigate community or environmental impacts. Furthermore, the bill directs U.S. Customs and Border Protection to focus on construction activities in high priority locations as identified in the Border Security Improvement Plan.
Specifically, I request the following bill language be included with any border wall funds:
(b) The amount designated in subsection (a)(1) shall only be available for barrier systems that— (1) use—
(A) operationally effective designs deployed as of the date of enactment of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 (Public Law 115-31), such as currently deployed steel bollard designs, that prioritize agent safety; or
(B) operationally effective adaptations of such designs that help mitigate community or environmental impacts of barrier system construction, including adaptations based on consultation with jurisdictions within which barrier system will be constructed; and
(2) are constructed in the highest priority locations as identified in the Border Security Improvement Plan.
Unfortunately, this language was left out of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Acts for fiscal years 2021 and 2022. Without this limiting language, funds Congress intends for border wall construction can be diverted to non-border wall projects. An effective border wall is key to securing our southern border and controlling the influx of illegal immigration. Congress has recognized this by appropriating nearly $6 billion for border wall construction since 2017. It is crucial that any additional border wall funds be spent responsibly.
In conjunction with my separate request, I hope you will provide robust funding for border wall construction and include this limiting language to ensure border wall funds are not misused or redirected. Thank you for considering this request.