EXCLUSIVE: Feds Should Reimburse Texas for Border Security Expenses, Say Congressmen
Two key congressional leaders told Breitbart Texas the federal government should reimburse the Lone Star State for border security expenditures. The comments from two committee chairmen follows a request from Texas House Republican leadership requesting reimbursement of $2.8 billion spent by the state on defending the state’s southern border with Mexico.
The Texas legislative leaders met on the second day of the new legislative session to ask for the reimbursement, Breitbart Texas’ Lana Shadwick reported. State Representative Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) told Breitbart Texas, “For years, Texas has stood in the gap where the federal government has failed. With a new administration coming into office, hope the tide will turn and Washington will do its duty, so that Texas can devote its limited resources to priorities reserved to the states under federalism.”
U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) agreed, telling Breitbart Texas, “The federal government’s failure to secure our borders has often forced border states like Texas to do the job for them and pick-up the tab. I support Washington reimbursing Texas taxpayers for proven border security expenses.”
“I’m optimistic that President Trump and a unified Republican Congress will establish a more secure U.S. border, reestablish the rule of law and fund effective interior enforcement,” Brady concluded.
Rep. Bonnen reported the State of Texas and local jurisdictions spent almost $3 billion for border security operations; incarceration of criminal aliens; healthcare; education; and Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission costs. The Texas Department of Public Safety incurred the largest expense spending, $1,410,563,257 for additional manpower, equipment and technology.
U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science Chairman John Culberson (R-TX) also agreed on reimbursing Texas and other border states that have been forced to spend state taxpayer dollars to carry out the federal responsibility of securing the border. “Congress should reimburse Texas and every other border state that filled the dangerous gap created by President Barack Obama’s refusal to enforce our immigration laws,” Culberson told Breitbart Texas. “Fortunately, President Donald Trump will begin to vigorously enforce our immigration laws and secure our border.”
Texas State Representative Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound) summed up the State’s position saying, before the inauguration of President Trump, “Texas is proud to have gone beyond the call of duty in defending America’s border, but we have done so at great cost to our taxpayers. “We are hopeful President-elect Trump will give it due consideration so that we can make our communities, schools and hospitals whole.”
Breitbart Texas also reached out to U.S. House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX). The chairman’s spokesperson, Lizzie Litzow responded, “The Chairman is out of pocket currently so I won’t be able to get you something on deadline. Therefore, we will pass on this opportunity.” Breitbart Texas offered to wait until the chairman could respond. No reply to that extension has been received by Breitbart Texas.
In a prior conversation with a House Homeland Security Committee staff member, Breitbart Texas learned the committee might consider increasing border security spending in Texas to help prevent the state from future expenditures.
Texas expenditures reported by Texas House Republican leaders:
- Texas Department of Public Safety paid out $1,410,563,257 for additional manpower, equipment and technology;
- the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has been forced to incur $20,268,215 in expenses;
- Texas Military Forces have spent almost $63,000 in border-related costs;
- Texas taxpayers paid out $181,185,708 for educational expenses;
- healthcare expenditures through the Texas Health and Human Services Commission hit $416,882,000;
- the incarceration of criminal aliens in county jails cost Texans $265,563,826; and,
- the Texas Department of Criminal Justice costs reached $463,278,833.