Senate DHS bill includes $1.6 billion for ‘fencing’ on border

Senate DHS bill includes $1.6 billion for ‘fencing’ on border

The Senate’s spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security includes $1.6 billion for “pedestrian fencing” along the southern border. 

The bill's language limits funds "to currently deployed fencing design along the southern border" and specifies that the fencing will cover 65 miles in the Rio Grande Valley. 

Both Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoPress beat lawmakers to keep trophy in annual softball game Bipartisan senators propose forcing EPA to set drinking water standard for 'forever chemicals' August recess under threat as yearly spending bills pile up MORE (R-W.Va.), chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, and Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterVA chief pressed on efforts to prevent veteran suicides Overnight Defense: US to send 1K more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions | Iran threatens to break limit on uranium production in 10 days | US accuses Iran of 'nuclear blackmail' | Details on key defense bill amendments Democrats aim to block defense money from being used on Trump border wall MORE (D-Mont.), the subcommittee's ranking member, said the bill was a compromise between the two parties. The subcommittee approved the bill, which will head to the full committee for passage on Thursday. 

On Monday, Capito and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyThis week: Congress set for clash on Trump's border request Congress unlikely to reach deal on Trump border bill before break GOP lawmakers want Mulvaney sidelined in budget talks MORE (R-Ala.) met with President Trump on the issue of border protection.

Capito said the president was "frustrated" with the pace and level of funding allocated toward his signature issue, despite the bill matching the administration's own budget request.

“He wants more robust funding. We want more robust funding. But we have to look at it as a border system, and we talked about that a lot with him, so I would characterize his response as frustrated that it’s not higher, but we’re telling him and we believe that this is part of a process and we need his support because we’re on the same team,” Capito said. 

The Senate’s versions of spending bills are thought to be a better indicator of what will finally be signed into law than House versions of the bills, as the Senate requires a 60-vote majority to pass appropriations bills. 

A joint statement Monday from Capito and Shelby said they were on the same page as Trump.

“Our highest priority is securing the U.S. border. The Senate bill puts a major down payment on the larger efforts underway to pass immigration reform and secure funding for border security,” the joint statement said.