Texas Republicans on Thursday called on their House colleagues to hold up federal funding for the Department of Homeland Security until President Biden signs border security legislation.
Fifteen House Republicans led by Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, signed a dear colleague letter urging the House to reject further appropriations for DHS unless Biden signs a GOP-backed border security bill and removes Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas from office, among other demands.
“The State of Texas is bearing the brunt of a national crisis at our southern border directly resulting from the unlawful and irresponsible actions of President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas,” the lawmakers wrote.
“Governor Abbott has been forced to use Texas’ limited resources to do at least part of the job the federal government refuses,” the letter states. “Rather than reimburse Texas for its efforts, which benefit all Americans, the Biden administration has filed suit against our state citing ‘humanitarian concerns,’ purposefully ignoring the humanitarian crisis of its own making.”
The letter acknowledges several GOP-led attempts to secure the border and hold the Biden administration accountable for the migrant crisis. In May, House Republicans passed H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act, which hawkish immigration groups praised as a “forceful and serious” response to the ongoing crisis at the southern border. Republicans have also berated Mayorkas at committee hearings where he was called to testify.
However, the Texas lawmakers wrote these efforts are “nothing more than political theater” if Congress is unwilling to use the power of the purse to leverage changes from the White House.
“Simply put, no member of Congress should agree to fund a federal agency at war with his state and people,” the Republicans wrote. “We have a moral obligation to protect our states, our nation, and, importantly, the migrant children getting abused from the disaster transpiring at our southern border.”
Current federal appropriations are scheduled to expire on Sept. 30, a deadline that sets up yet another battle between Biden and Congress on whether to fund the government or risk a shutdown. While the GOP’s immigration and deficit hardliners welcome that fight, moderate lawmakers and Republican leadership may hesitate to threaten a government shutdown with next year’s election looming.
Roy appeared on “Fox & Friends” Thursday morning, and his message to those moderate colleagues was stopping the “horrors” of human trafficking and drug smuggling is worth the political price. He shared a story about a migrant girl who was held for ransom in a stash house in Fort Worth, Texas, and was threatened to be raped by the cartels.
“I would just ask every one of my Republican colleagues, is it not enough to stand up for that one little girl? To go tell the president, ‘no, you’re not going to get a taxdollar to fund the Department of Homeland Security that’s allowing that to occur on our watch,'” Roy said. “That’s what we’re saying.”
The letter was co-signed by Texas Republican Reps. Brian Babin, Keith Self, Wesley Hunt, Randy Weber, Beth Van Duyne, Nathaniel Moran, Michael Burgess, Michael Cloud, Lance Gooden, Troy Nehls, Pete Sessions, Ronny Jackson, Pat Fallon and Morgan Luttrell.