The spending bill negotiated by House and Senate leadership provides federal spending for the remainder of the fiscal year. The Congressional bill allocates $1.3 billion for border security including 55 miles of new barriers in the Rio Grande Valley, far short of the $5 billion for a border wall that Trump sought.
East County News Service
February 19, 2019 (Washington D.C.) – Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) voted against last week’s spending bill that forestalls another federal shutdown due to lack of funding for a border wall sought by President Donald Trump. But he also voices concerns over the President declaring a national emergency to build the border wall that the majority of Congress declined to fund.
Hunter, in a press statement, says he is concerned about the bill due to “lack of adequate funding for border security, including a wall, and its inclusion of several unnecessary and questionable provisions that will adversely affect border security efforts as a whole.”
Hunter adds, “We just need to get this done. Border security should be a top priority for every Member of Congress, not just for those like myself who have districts in border regions. For years, I have advocated for a border barrier because I know firsthand it has proven effective. Unfortunately, like many other things, this issue has become a political football and we are once again at risk of having no meaningful progress.” He faults Democrats and says Trump should have held firm on his original proposal to Congress – a proposal that earlier led to the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.
Democrats have contended that after winning 40 seats in the House last November, their party believes it has a mandate to oppose the wall Trump promised during his campaign to build. Democrats have long argued for comprehensive immigration reforms instead of solely a barrier.
But Hunter states, “Additionally, while I wholeheartedly support building the wall, I have significant concerns with the President declaring a national emergency in order to obtain funding in this manner. This action more than likely will result in legal action, delaying border security efforts further, and the precedent it can set for future administrations is concerning.”
He indicates he will continue to support border enforcement “in all aspects knowing this investment is best for my constituents and our nation as a whole.”