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Border securityBorder funding bill passes U.S. House; Texans vote along party lines

By Julián Aguilar and Abby Livingston

Published 28 July 2017

The U.S. House on Thursday passed about $800 billion in federal spending, including $1.6 billion worth of funding that will go toward constructing a border wall. While there is almost no chance this legislation will become law, Republican lawmakers can head back to their home districts pointing to the wall funding as a legislative step toward a tenet of the Trump presidential campaign.

The U.S. House on Thursday passed about $800 billion in federal spending, including $1.6 billion worth of funding that will go toward constructing a border wall. 

While there is almost no chance this legislation will become law, Republican lawmakers can head back to their home districts pointing to the wall funding as a legislative step toward a tenet of the Trump presidential campaign.

“I am proud to say that the defense appropriations bill we advanced today begins the process of putting our country’s security on the right path, and I urge the Senate to take it up and pass it quickly,” said U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, who was a key mover of the bill. 

I am proud of the hard work of the Appropriations Committee as well as all of the Members who worked to make this bill better and better with their thoughts and ideas that they brought to the Rules Committee,” concurred U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Dallas, who runs the consequential U.S. House Rules Committee, in a Thursday statement.

The border wall measure was one of several spending bills passed this week, and combined, they will increase funding at the Department of Defense, care for veterans and on security for lawmakers in the wake of the June shooting at a Congressional baseball practice that left House Majority Whip Steve Scalise seriously wounded. 

The measure that featured the border wall provision passed on a party-line vote from within the Texas delegation: All Republicans backed it, and all Democrats opposed it. 

Border lawmakers from Texas’ congressional delegation decried the vote as a “legislative gimmick” used so lawmakers could avoid an up-or-down vote on a stand-alone bill to fund the wall.

They decried what they saw as strong-arming members and wrapping the funding into a defense spending bill. In effect, they said, it forces Democrats to choose between an outdated measure that would do nothing to help secure the border and supporting the country’s armed forces.

“This is simply wrong. Not only is President Trump’s border wall expensive and unnecessary, Members of Congress who care deeply about our national defense shouldn’t be forced to decide between voting for this nonsensical proposal and voting to fund our military,” members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which includes U.S. Reps. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, Filemon Vela, D-Brownsville, and Vicente Gonzalez, D-McAllen, wrote to Sessions.