Congress

No funding for Trump’s border wall is included in House Homeland Security funding bill

The bill does not provide any funding for additional Border Patrol Agents, Border Patrol checkpoints or border barriers

People work on the U.S./ Mexican border wall on February 12, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. U.S. President Donald Trump visited the border city yesterday as he continues to campaign for more wall to be built along the border. The House Appropriations Committee’s draft 2020 Homeland Security spending bill does not provide any funding for additional Border Patrol Agents, Border Patrol checkpoints, or border barriers. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A draft of the House Appropriations Committee’s fiscal 2020 Homeland Security spending bill does not provide any funding for additional Border Patrol Agents, Border Patrol checkpoints or border barriers — A decision that is sure to invite opposition from Republicans and President Donald Trump.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol would receive $151 million for 1,846 new positions which include hiring more CBP officers who man the border entry ports and mission support personnel. But the money contains no new money for Border Patrol officers, who actually monitor the border between official ports of entry.

[Judge tosses House lawsuit over border wall spending]

CBP would also receive $242 million for new technology at the southern border and $21 million for body-worn cameras and other video systems.

The panel’s Homeland Security subcommittee is scheduled to mark up the draft bill Wednesday morning.

“The bill protects our nation and the American people in a way that upholds our values as Americans,” said Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif., the Homeland Security subcommittee chairwoman. “This includes upholding the rights and dignity of migrants, protecting against attempts by the Trump administration to steal funds from measures that actually keep us safe for a vanity border wall, and providing no funding for additional Border Patrol agents and checkpoints or border barriers.”

[Pentagon moves $1.5 billion more to border wall]

The draft bill does not provide any funding for additional Border Patrol Agents, Border Patrol checkpoints, or border barriers, a move that is expected to get pushback from Republicans and President Donald Trump, who has reallocated funding from other departments to build a border wall.

The House Appropriations Committee’s draft fiscal 2020 Homeland Security spending bill would provide $49.7 billion in net discretionary funds, or less than 1 percent above the current year’s comparable level.

However when extra disaster aid funds that aren’t subject to regular budget caps are added, plus some funding collected by agency fees, the measure would provide $2.2 billion above the current year, or almost 3.6 percent. The gross amount provided would be $1.9 billion below President Donald Trump’s budget request, according to a panel summary.

The bill also actually rescinds $601 million from the fiscal year 2019 Procurement, Construction, and Improvements account, equivalent to the amount the White House announced would be used from the Treasury Forfeiture Fund for border barrier construction.

The bill would provide $7.67 billion to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is $82 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $1.11 billion below Trump’s 2020 budget request.

The agency would receive $2.68 billion to maintain an average daily population of 34,000 single adults in detention, and an additional $387 million that could be used in response to the influx of migrants arriving at the southern border, which has reached 100,000 people per month.

ICE oversight

The bill would also provide ICE with $64 million above Trump’s original $30 million request to continue expanding alternatives to detention, which is aimed at keeping undocumented immigrants out of detention centers. That program uses various kinds of electronic monitoring and case management services to keep track of undocumented migrants awaiting their immigration hearings.

The bill also seeks to increase oversight on ICE facilities to ensure the wellbeing of people detained. The bill would provide $21 million above the president’s request to fund at least two inspections per year at all facilities where detainees may be held for longer than 72 hours.

The bill includes $12 billion for the Coast Guard which is $162 million above the 2019 enacted level and $894 million above the president’s request. That includes money for a second polar region Coast Guard cutter and $290 million for five Fast Response cutters.

For the Transportation Security Administration, the bill allocates $7.9 billion, which is $279 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level, and $581 million above Trump’s request.

The bill includes $2 billion for the Cybesecurity and Infrastructure Agency, CISA, the one-year-old agency that monitors the federal governments computer systems. That is $335 million above the 2019 enacted level, and $408 million above the president’s request.

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