Texas lawmaker seeks to tie Homeland Security funding to partisan border demands

August 9, 2023

Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), a member of the conservative Freedom Caucus, on Tuesday urged his colleagues to withhold funding from the Department of Homeland Security unless the Biden Administration undertakes controversial measures on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Roy laid out his demands in a letter to his fellow Republicans. He called for the ouster of DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas—against whom House Republicans in January filed articles of impeachment—and a $10 billion reimbursement to his state of Texas for actions taken on the border by Gov. Greg Abbott (R).

In July the Department of Justice notified Abbott’s office that it intends to sue over a floating barrier the state erected in the Rio Grande River amid his draconian border policy called  Operation Lone Star. Numerous migrants have been injured by the barriers as well as on razor wire Abbott ordered placed in the water as well. 

Close-up video posted by Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) this week further shows that the barriers also include circular saw blades. Last week, Mexican officials said they found two bodies floating in the Rio Grande, including one along the floating barrier—though the Texas Department of Public Safety pushed back, asserting that the migrant had died elsewhere and floated toward the barrier.

Roy’s demands, which also include greatly restricting asylum access, are unlikely to be accepted by the Biden Administration or the Democratic-led Senate. However, they could further aggravate Republican infighting over government funding between the hard-right and centrists in the GOP on fiscal 2024 appropriation bills. 

“No appropriation should fund DHS until the necessary steps are taken to secure the border,” Roy wrote in his letter.

Congress, currently on August recess, risks a government shutdown unless it can enact a dozen fiscal 2024 appropriations bills by a September 30 expiration deadline.

PHOTO: Texas National Guard on Rio Grande

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