The 109th Congress mandated the construction of 854 miles of fencing, but to date only 74 miles had been completed - despite $1.2 billion dollars being appropriated. This bill will fix that loophole which has been exploited by the Administration. Prior to my amendment there has been no dedicated funding source to complete the border fence.

This means that between now and 2008, the federal government must construct approximately 400 miles of fencing as mandated by Congress.

This amendment will guarantee funding to build the border fence as stipulated by law. Congress authorized it last year and provided funding in the 2007 DHS spending bill. But incredibly, this Homeland Security Bill has totally ignored how we are to pay. It is time for us to get serious about border security. This amendment makes securing our border a priority. Last October most Republicans and 64 of my Democratic colleagues supported this.

DHS has no plans to complete the final 330 miles as mandated by Congress. My amendment takes available funding in this Homeland Security bill for border protection and directs to the fence construction. This amendment will give the administration the resources needed to construct the remainder of the border fence.

With the establishment of the border fence project in San Diego crime rates have fallen off dramatically - by 50 percent. Extending the fence will allow the border patrol to focus its resources and better protect our border.