Q&A Friday #39: Has The Senate Already Approved Spending On A Wall?
Question: “I was just called up by the NRSC looking for money to re-elect the Republicans. I told the caller I would not send any money to the Republicans until something was done at the border and they built a fence. He proceeded to tell me the supplemental bill the Senate just passed and the president signed included paying for a border fence! He said the MSM just wasn’t reporting it. I said I read a few other sources regularly and that it does not include a fence for the entire border. Could you please settle this for me? I just want to make sure that I understood correctly and possibly warn others that the NRSC money changers will lie to you to get your money. Thanks in advance!” — margomc
Answer: The Senate has approved $1.9 billion for border security, but it’s lodged in that $109 billion dollar pork bomb of an emergency spending bill that the House is balking at and that President Bush is threatening to veto.
Here are the details on the $1.9 billion from Bill Frist’s website:
“The amendment allocates funding for border security technology, replacement of outdated Customs and Border Patrol vehicles, personnel training and other key infrastructure upgrades.”
You’ll notice that doesn’t mention anything about a wall.
I actually went a little further and dug into H.R.4939, Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Hurricane Recovery, 2006 (Reported in House). As far as I could tell, there was nothing in there about building a wall either.
In order to get further comments, I tried calling Bill Frist and Judd Gregg (who offered the Amendment to the emergency spending bill), but their press people weren’t picking up. So, since I had no luck with either of the Senators, I called the one place where they seem to know everything about illegal immigration: Tom Tancredo‘s office. I spoke to his press guy, Will, and he told me that the $1.9 billion in question is slated to be spent on immigration enforcement related activities, but not on a wall.