BORDER FENCE FUNDING -- (House of Representatives - June 13, 2007)
(Mrs. BLACKBURN asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend her remarks.)
Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Speaker, last year we passed the Secure Fence Act, which mandated the Department of Defense construct a fence and vehicle barriers along 800 miles of the southern border of the U.S., from California to Texas. And 283 people in this Chamber, many of them Democrats, voted to take this first step in real border security reform by funding a secure fence on our southern border.
But under a new liberal Democrat leadership, actually paying for the fence is a whole different matter. Despite the overwhelming support and a $2.4 billion increase in the Homeland Security budget, the bill before us today actually underfunds the fence by $187 million and ties up an additional $700 million in bureaucratic red tape.
The question is: Why? Nothing has changed. Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants, drug dealers and possible terrorists continue to slip through the cracks in our southern border while we wait for the fence on the southern border.
Where are those people on the other side of the aisle that were committed to pay for this security fence last year?
Mr. Speaker, it is time to fund the fence.