Mr. HIGGINS. Mr. Speaker, I was alarmed to discover that the Department of Homeland Security's budget request proposed a study of the imposition of a fee--a tax--for passengers and pedestrians at our northern land border crossing.
Western New York is home to two rail and three vehicle crossings, including the Peace Bridge, the second busiest northern border crossing. Integrating the economies of western New York and southern Ontario is essential to our economic strength, and nationally 300,000 people cross our Canadian border by vehicle each day and spend an estimated $235 million.
Last year, the American and Canadian Governments signed a historic Beyond-the-Border agreement to bolster cross-border travel. The imposition of a border toll will discourage cross-border travel and goes against the spirit of this historic agreement.
Mr. Speaker, we should be encouraging increased economic activity between the United States and Canada, not stifling it. This proposal is completely unacceptable and must be withdrawn immediately.