Republican Introduces Bill to Redirect Unused COVID-19 Funds to Border Wall Construction -
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Republican Introduces Bill to Redirect Unused COVID-19 Funds to Border Wall Construction

A new bill proposes redirecting unspent federal COVID-19 funds to resume construction of the southern border wall, addressing the ongoing illegal immigration crisis. As the November elections approach, voters increasingly rank this issue among their top concerns.

Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) introduced an amendment on Tuesday to a Democrat-supported border bill, which is scheduled to return to the floor later this week.

Titled “The Build the Wall Act of 2024,” the measure would establish a “Southern Border Wall Construction Fund” and direct the Department of Homeland Security to utilize unspent funds originally allocated for pandemic recovery.

“Border walls work. Before President Biden came into office, we were well on our way to a secure and safe southern border. But on his first day in office, the president and Democrats rolled out the welcome mat for millions of illegal immigrants to come into our nation,” Barrasso said in a statement.

“We must hold Democrats accountable for their open border policies that have created the worst border crisis in our nation’s history. If they are serious about securing our border, they should have no issues voting for a policy that actually works and is already paid for,” he continued.

The Democrat-supported border bill is expected to fail a test vote this week. GOP senators criticized the measure as too weak after it was negotiated by Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), and James Lankford (R-Okla.).

Some Republicans argued that the bill could make the current border crisis worse. Instead, Republicans have reiterated their support for a stricter immigration measure backed by the House, known as H.R. 2.

Barrasso’s proposal to allocate unspent COVID-19 relief funds for the border wall follows Republican criticism of the Treasury Department’s recent guidance on the COVID-19 State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds provided by President Biden’s highly promoted American Rescue Plan.

In March, the department updated its guidance on unspent COVID-19 relief funds, stating that “qualifying recipients can use remaining funds on a broad range of uses to fund affordable housing serving very low-income families.”

Last week, Republicans attempted to block the change, but Democrats in the Senate defeated the effort in a party-line vote.

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