WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, the top Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, requested a briefing on how the Department of Homeland Security will pay for the first part of their border wall construction plans. In a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, McCaskill laid out her questions on the total cost of the border wall and how prototype wall structures will be funded.
“Securing our border is a key national security issue, and it’s irresponsible of the Department of Homeland Security to move forward with a border wall without laying out how they’ll pay for it or conducting a cost-benefit analysis,” McCaskill said. “As I saw firsthand during my trip to the border last month, making our border more secure is a complicated, important task—and we need to ensure that our efforts use taxpayer funds responsibly.”
In the briefing request to Secretary Kelly, McCaskill requested information including, “A copy of the cost estimate provided to the Department of Homeland Security regarding the total cost of building a border wall…the appropriated funds and fiscal year funds that have been identified to fund [prototype wall structures]…the programs have been identified to receive funding cuts or be completely eliminated, as a result of any potential repurposing of appropriations for CBP or DHS as a whole, and what the size of those funding cuts will be.”
McCaskill is a longtime advocate for increasing border security, and last month she toured the U.S.-Mexico border to learn more about what Customs and Border Patrol needs to increase border security. McCaskill’s efforts in 2010 led to the placement of 1,000 new border patrol agents, new unmanned aerial vehicles, improved communication equipment and more to monitor the border without adding to the deficit. In 2012, her bipartisan bill to combat illegal underground border tunnels—cosponsored by Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona—passed unanimously in the Senate and was signed into law. And bipartisan, comprehensive legislation to address the country’s broken system in 2013 that McCaskill supported would have added 20,000 enforcement agents to the U.S.-Mexico border, while financing the construction of 700 miles of border fence and aerial drones to monitor the border.
A copy of McCaskill’s letter is available online HERE.
Visit mccaskill.senate.gov/immigration to learn more about McCaskill’s views on immigration reform.