The House Committee on Appropriations announced Tuesday that its 2018 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding bill will allocate $1.6 billion toward President Donald Trump’s border wall, setting the stage for a brawl between parties that could lead to a government shutdown.
The committee is pushing for $44.3 billion in funding — a $1.9 billion increase from 2017 spending levels. The $1.6 billion is part of $13.8 billion in discretionary spending directed toward Customs and Border Protection (CPB).
The proposal suggests $100 million be used to hire 500 new border patrol agents, $131 million for new border technology, $106 million for new aircraft and sensors and $109 million for non-intrusive inspection equipment.
In addition to CBP funding, the bill would allocate $7 billion to fund Immigration and Customs Enforcement — a $619.7 million increase from Fiscal Year 2017.
“This funding bill provides the resources to begin building a wall along our southern border, enhance our existing border security infrastructure, hire more border patrol agents, and fund detention operations,” Homeland Security Subcommittee Chairman John Carter said in a statement. “Additionally, this bill will increase funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, support grants in cases of emergency and natural disaster, and provide critical resources to protect our cyber networks.”
The committee noted the funding proposed for constructing the physical barrier along the U.S. border with Mexico, meeting the Trump administration’s full request.
Building the wall along the Mexico border was one of Trump’s main platforms during the course of the election and has received strong support from congressional conservatives.
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows said it’s critical the funding be included to secure conservative support needed to pass the measure. While a sizable number of Republicans are on board with the proposal, Democrats have adamantly opposed its construction, having vowed to block it since the president took office.
Congress has until the end of September before current funding for DHS expires.
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