FAIR to Congress: Do Your Duty and Address the Biden Border Crisis
FAIR Take | September 2023
No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.
Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7
One of the most critical responsibilities vested in Congress by the U.S. Constitution is to appropriate or withdraw funding from the Treasury, ensuring checks and balances for the three branches of government. By law, Congress must decide on funding levels and priorities by the beginning of each fiscal year, which starts on October 1. The annual countdown to a government shutdown has begun. As of today, Congress has 13 days to act, or the U.S. government run out of money.
Against the backdrop of this spending drama on Capitol Hill, the Biden Border Crisis is as bad as it has ever been. More than 7 million illegal aliens have been encountered at our border and more than 1.7 million known “gotaways” have evaded Border Patrol agents since President Biden took office. Many members on Capitol Hill are pushing to include strong border security measures in any spending package that is sent to the President’s desk. FAIR agrees that President Biden must choose: shut down the border crisis and fund the government or shut down the government in order to maintain the border crisis.
Last week, FAIR, as part of a broad coalition of public policy organizations focused on border security, sent a letter to congressional leaders demanding that H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act, be attached to any spending agreement to fund the federal government beyond September 30. The letter states: “It is your duty to use any means necessary to address the Biden Administration’s open-borders agenda that not only undermines the rule of law, but threatens national sovereignty, economic security, and public safety daily. Congress cannot simply continue to fund the flood of illegal aliens this administration is ushering into America every day.”
H.R. 2, the legislation referred to in the letter, was approved by the House of Representatives on May 11. The bill includes commonsense provisions to end the crisis that are broadly supported by the American public. Some of the key provisions in H.R. 2 include:
- resuming border wall construction;
- closing gaping loopholes in our asylum policies;
- reining in the administration’s abuse of parole authority which has allowed inadmissible aliens to gain entry and work in the U.S.;
- prohibiting the Secretary of Homeland Security from releasing illegal aliens apprehended at our border, strengthening our ability to detain, remove and return those aliens; and
- preventing the surge of unaccompanied children to our borders.
Despite the strong support for such measures, the Senate has failed to act on this critical legislation. And over the past few months, the unprecedented border crisis caused by the Biden Administration’s open-border policies has only grown worse, compromising our nation’s security and threatening the solvency, safety and stability of communities all across the country. As numerous state and local leaders – including many from the president’s own party – have stated publicly, the status quo is unsustainable. Congress cannot hand the Biden Administration a blank check, and conditioning a spending package on the inclusion of H.R. 2 presents the administration and its allies in Congress with a clear choice: Keep the border open, or keep the government open.