A bipartisan pair of lower chamber lawmakers are calling on the heads of the House Appropriations Committee to consider additional funding support to first responders in border communities. Reps. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., and Michael McCaul, R-Texas, sent a letter to House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Kay Granger, R-Texas, and ranking member Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., requesting supplemental funding for first responders in communities hit hard by the southern border crisis. "As you consider potential supplemental appropriations for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024, we request that any supplemental funding package include funding for critical programs to aid first responders in communities impacted by immigration," the lawmakers wrote. SPEAKER JOHNSON DRAWS BATTLE LINES AHEAD OF GOVERNMENT SPENDING SHUTDOWN "Across the country, local officials, including police departments, fire departments, and Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs), face significant resource strains related to the migrant crisis," the pair of lawmakers continued. Gallego – who is running for Senate – and McCaul, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, noted the "dramatic uptick" in illegal crossings at the southwestern border that saw 269,000 crossings in the last month, contributing "to a historic 2.4 million total in the last 12 months." "Local police departments are barred from directly enforcing immigration laws," the lawmakers wrote. "However, first responders, particularly local law enforcement, are fielding significantly more calls, including for organized criminal activity, loitering, trespassing and emergency response." "Even without violent criminal conduct, every call to a police department, fire department, or EOC increases the strain on resources and personnel that makes it harder for them to help taxpaying permanent residents," they continued. "Increased operations are stretching the resources of local governments, police, and fire departments to the limit. Without additional funding, many local leaders and decision-makers face a choice – provide only vital services to long-term residents and ignore certain emergency calls they determine to not be top priority or devote resources toward responding to a ballooning migrant population with no end in sight." The pair of lawmakers then requested that Granger and DeLauro "consider additional funding for programs that help first responders in the communities being hit hardest by the crisis at the border," should Congress consider supplemental funding under the Departments of Homeland Security or Justice. Gallego and McCaul named several programs they would like to see funding go toward: "Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants, Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG), and Emergency Operations Center (EOC) grants." "This funding is critical to providing state and local agencies with the resources they need to hire more police officers, firefighters, and emergency responders, as much-needed equipment and overtime pay for first responders who are already on the front lines of this crisis," Gallego and McCaul concluded. Neither Granger's nor DeLauro's offices immediately responded to Fox News Digital's request for comment. The lawmakers' letter comes as the House pushes to meet the Nov. 17 funding deadline and avoid a government shutdown. House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., is warning that the House and Senate could be at an "impasse" on government funding if the Democrat-controlled chamber tries to force the House GOP to bringing dense multi-subject spending bills to the House floor. "We've sent appropriations bills over to the Senate and they have done nothing with them. Ultimately, we are going to be in a conference committee working out final agreements and all these things, but we are hopeful that the Senate will do their job," Johnson told Fox News Digital in an interview The House has passed five of 12 individual spending bills that together will fund the government in the next fiscal year. They’re slated to consider three more this week. None have come for a vote in the Senate, where Democrats have lambasted Republicans for writing spending bills at a lower level than what was agreed to under the bipartisan debt limit deal. However, Senate appropriators announced a bipartisan deal last week to combine three spending bills into a "minibus."
01 Kasım 2023 - 18:30
GOP, Democrat lawmakers urge more funding for first responders in communities struggling with border crisis
A bipartisan pair of lawmakers called on the heads of the House Appropriations Committee to consider additional funding support for border community first responders.
01 Kasım 2023 - 18:30