Rep. Chip Roy’s (R-Texas) push to oppose any bill that funds the Department of Homeland Security unless it is accompanied by changes in border policy gained the support of 14 other House Republicans from Texas on Thursday, signaling further funding headaches for Republicans when they return to Washington next month.
In an open letter to colleagues, the Texas Republicans pledge to vote against any continuing resolution (CR) or Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding bill without taking “necessary steps to secure the border.”
“Enacting a CR would unacceptably mean continuing the funding level and policies of the disastrous [fiscal] 2023 omnibus, which Speaker McCarthy correctly argued perpetuates the border crisis,” the Republicans wrote. “Passing a full-year DHS appropriations bill without forcing the significant change necessary to secure the southern border is equally objectionable, even with some policy riders.”
The letter suggests President Biden sign H.R. 2, a Republican border security bill that includes finishing wall construction on the U.S.-Mexico border and limiting asylum, while also “prohibiting funds from being used in contravention of its provisions.”
It also proposes “adopting policies that give law enforcement and/or our military the tools necessary to target dangerous cartels;” seeing Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas resign or be removed from office or defunding his salary; and reimbursing the state of Texas for Operation Lone Star — a state-run program to crack down on illegal immigration — and “any other state that has demonstrated significant law-enforcement related expenses.”
Congress will likely have to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government funded past the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. The House has passed only one of its 12 regular appropriations bills, and it is highly unlikely that it can get an agreement on funding levels with the Democratic-controlled Senate by that deadline.
The opposition from those 15 Republicans is more than enough to sink any partisan funding bill in the slim House GOP majority, meaning Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) may have to look to Democrats to pass a continuing resolution or a DHS funding bill.
“Simply put, no member of Congress should agree to fund a federal agency at war with his state and people,” the Texas Republicans wrote. “We have a moral obligation to protect our states, our nation, and, importantly, the migrant children getting abused from the disaster transpiring at our southern border.”
In addition to Roy, the letter was signed by Texas Republican Reps. Brian Babin, Wesley Hunt, Keith Self, Randy Weber, Beth Van Duyne, Nathaniel Moran, Michael Burgess, Michael Cloud, Lance Gooden, Troy Nehls, Pete Sessions, Ronny Jackson, Pat Fallon, and Morgan Luttrell.