Congressman Threatens to Cut DHS and DOJ Funding Ahead of Spending Fight
Texas Congressman Chip Roy says he will not approve funding for the Department of Homeland Security or Justice Department unless “changes” are made.
“And I can tell you right now for all my colleagues, I will not vote for a continuing resolution or any funding for DHS or DOJ if we don’t get changes to both,” the Republican lawmaker told Shannon Bream on “Fox News Sunday.”
“I want the border secure,” Roy said. “I want DOJ restored to following the rule of law, and we should use the power of the purse as James Madison wrote in Federalist 58—it’s the most powerful weapon against an over-tyrannical executive branch that we see unfold right now before our eyes.”
Congress has a deadline of Sept. 30—the end of fiscal year 2023—to pass appropriations bills to fund government agencies, departments, and programs for the next year. If the House runs out of time to agree on new appropriations bills, lawmakers will likely consider a continuing resolution, a temporary measure that allows the continued funding of the federal government, generally at the prior year’s levels.
With Congress out of session for the month of August, lawmakers are gearing up for appropriations debates throughout September, a fight that may be contentious given positions such as Roy’s.
Funding should be withheld from DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas “for leaving the border exposed,” Roy said, “and [for] going after [Republican Texas Gov.] Greg Abbott for daring to want to secure the border while little girls get sold into the sex trafficking trade as we are seeing in ‘The Sound of Freedom.’”
Roy’s defense of Abbott is likely in reference to the DOJ filing a lawsuit against the state of Texas for erecting a floating buoy barrier in a section of the Rio Grande River.
Abbott announced deployment of the buoy barrier June 8, saying it would help deter migrants from crossing the river and entering the United States illegally.
“We’re securing the border at the border,” Abbott said during a press conference announcing the floating wall. “What these buoys will allow us to do is to prevent people from even getting to the border.”
The dead bodies of two migrants have reportedly been found near the barrier in the Rio Grande since it was installed.
The floating wall is part of Operation Lone Star, Abbott’s border security plan first launched in 2021. The DOJ says Abbott broke the law by constructing the barrier without authorization because it creates an obstruction in American waters.
In response to the DOJ lawsuit, Abbott responded, “I’ll see you in court, Mr. President.”
GOP lawmakers have been speaking out against the Biden administration’s handling of the borders since Biden took office, and multiple House Republicans have introduced articles of impeachment against Mayorkas, citing his failure to secure America’s borders.
The release of the film “Sound of Freedom,” based on the true story of the rescue of children from sex trafficking, has drawn additional attention to the border crisis. The Biden administration has lost contact with 85,000 unaccompanied migrant children, and there are concerns that some of these children may have been forced into labor or sex trafficking.
There are also concerns that the Mexican drug cartels are using the Biden administration’s lax border enforcement to their advantage and actively smuggling women and children across the border for trafficking purposes.
Since Biden took office in 2021, Customs and Border Protection has encountered more than 6.5 million illegal aliens crossing at America’s borders. That doesn’t include an unknown number of “gotaways.”
Since the start of fiscal year 2023 on Oct. 1, Customs and Border Protection has encountered more than 1.7 million illegal aliens on America’s southwest border alone.
“This country wants their country back,” Roy said. “They want to believe in America again. They want to actually know the rule of law is being enforced.”