In an effort to ensure the U.S. Border Patrol focuses all funding resources toward its core mission, Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT) introduced the Border Patrol Operations Enhancement Amendment to amend the Homeland Security Appropriations Act for 2013 [H.R. 5855].В The amendment was voted on and passed by the House late Wednesday night with bipartisan support.В It will be included in the final appropriations bill expected to be voted on in the House.
Watch the video of Bishop here.
Specifically, the amendment redirects $3 million identified for вЂњenvironmental mitigationвЂќ to U.S. Border Patrol Air and Marine Interdiction capabilities. On average, 49% of the U.S. Border PatrolвЂ™s Air and Marine fleet are more than 33 years old. This funding will help make needed improvements.
вЂњCartel operations that smuggle drugs and humans into the U.S. through our federal lands are the leading cause of environmental damage. The damage is not coming from the U.S. Border Patrol,вЂќ said Congressman Bishop. вЂњThe U.S. Border Patrol needs every available resource to fulfill its core mission to protect Americans and prevent dangerous drug traffickers and human smugglers from entering the U.S.В Each dollar appropriated must be spent wisely. Supplementing other federal agency budgets is not part of this mission and these funds are better spent on securing our country.вЂќ
Currently, the Homeland Security Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2013 sets aside 3 million taxpayer dollars for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to pay the Department of Interior (DOI) and land management agencies for so-called environmental damage that results from security operations on federal lands.
The FY2013 Homeland Security Appropriations Act appropriates a total of $46 billion for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.