Democratic effort to rescind border wall funds fails

An older section of the border wall divides Ciudad Juarez, Mexico from Sunland Park, New Mexico
Associated Press/Christian Chavez

A Democratic-led effort to rescind $1.9 billion previously allocated for border barrier funds under the Trump administration has failed following staunch GOP opposition in spending negotiations.

Democrats previously sought to repurpose the nearly $2 billion in funding, outlining plans last year to reroute the dollars for border security technology, IT modernization efforts and environmental mitigation efforts, among other proposals.

In remarks to The Hill this week, Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security Chair Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said the funding secured in his panel for fiscal 2022 will still fund the party’s proposed plans. 

“There’s other money in the bill for that. So, we funded all of our priorities. But, in the end, our allocation was big enough that we didn’t need to use that old border wall funding for our new priorities,” Murphy said. “We got an allocation that was big enough to be able to fund the new priorities.”

Overall, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) saw an 11 percent increase in funding as part of the nearly $76.3 billion Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill passed as part of the omnibus spending package late Thursday.

The development comes after border wall funding emerged as a sticking point in spending talks, with both sides struggling for months to reach bipartisan agreement on a path forward on the matter.

Murphy said some of the previously allocated border wall funds that weren’t rescinded will go toward tying up loose ends on parts of the construction that could pose hazards.

As for any leftover wall funds, Murphy said, “It’ll continue to be what it is now. It’s an unspent balance and it will continue to be an unspent balance.”

Tags Appropriations Border wall border wall funding Chris Murphy Shelley Moore Capito

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