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Tipsheet

5 GOP Senators Say They Will Not Vote for Spending Bill if Border Wall Funding is Excluded

Townhall Media/Julio Rosas

Five Republicans senators are vowing not to support any spending bill that does not include funding to address the immigration crisis at the southern border, specifically highlighting the border wall's lack of sufficient funds.

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GOP Sens. Mike Braun (IN), Marco Rubio (FL), Mike Lee (UT), Cynthia Lummis (WY), and Ted Cruz (TX) are sending a letter to their Senate colleagues Monday that says the Senate Appropriations Committee's funding proposals "fail to provide America’s border agents with the proper security infrastructure necessary to defend America’s southern border from the continued crisis of unrestrained illegal migration."

"The failure to provide sufficient resources is a continuation of the Biden-Harris Administration’s inability and unwillingness to acknowledge the humanitarian and national security risks created by its open-border policies," the letter reads, according to Fox News. "We write to indicate that we will withhold support of any negotiated Fiscal Year 2022 omnibus funding agreement that fails to appropriately fund our nation’s border security."

The U.S. has faced an ongoing surge in border crossings this year. In Fiscal Year 2021, there have been more than 1.7 million migrant encounters, including more than 192,000 in September alone. 

Republicans have attributed this immigration crisis to President Joe Biden's reversal of a number of Trump-era policies. These rolled-back policies included a Biden executive order that stopped border wall construction, which had more than 450 miles built during the Trump administration.

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The letter points out that border wall funding was also left out of Democratic appropriation bills. The Homeland Security appropriation bill reallocated nearly $2 billion in funds for the wall, which will now be used for other border security operations. The bill will now only use $14.5 billion in funding for Customs and Border Protection, a $500 million dip from the Fiscal Year 2021 request.

"Rather than continuing to waste taxpayer dollars on border walls while ignoring proven, more effective, and less costly investments to improve border security, these funds will be refocused toward innovative and cost-effective capabilities and will also provide critical investments to support CBP employees," the bill summary reads.

The senators also noted that a $50 million earmark permitting wall construction on federal land has been removed despite "significant evidence" that the wall construction became a "critical tool for America’s border security agents to combat illegal migration, drug smuggling, and human trafficking," pointing specifically to data from the Trump-era Department of Homeland Security that shows illegal entries at the border were reduced by as much as 87 percent in areas where the wall had been constructed.

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"The continuation of border security funding, particularly continued funding for physical barrier construction, remains necessary during the continued immigration crisis," the senators write. "As such, and in the defense of our nation, we will not offer support for any fiscal year 2022 omnibus agreement that omits this funding or authorizes the administration to remove previously constructed border security measures."

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