New law cuts $3B for border security

The Defense appropriations bill that passed Congress Nov. 8 did not include an amendment to provide $3 billion for border security that included funds for unmanned aerial vehicles and ground sensors.

The border security amendment, sponsored by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), was approved by the Senate in a 95-1 vote Oct. 3. When House and Senate leaders negotiated the final terms of the bill in recent weeks, they removed the border security provision and its funding. The Defense fiscal 2008 spending bill passed the House, 400-15, and the Senate in a voice vote, Nov. 8.

President Bush signed the bill into law today.

Graham said last week he was disappointed that the border security funds were stripped from the final bill.

“The amendment that I offered, supported by all my colleagues here, passed 95-1. Only in Washington would that be a mixed signal,” he said at a Nov. 7 press conference.

Under Graham’s amendment, there would have been funding for 700 miles of fencing, unmanned aerial vehicles, ground sensors, vehicle barriers and other technology with the goal of reaching operational control of the borders. In addition, there would be money for enforcement and detention of illegal immigrants.

“There is no doubt we need better border security at our southern border, including more boots on the ground, more miles of fencing, better technology which acts as a force multiplier, additional detention beds, and unmanned aerial vehicles,” said Graham in a statement Oct. 3. “My amendment provides funding for these important and much-needed changes in federal policy.”

The Defense bill provides $460.3 million for Pentagon programs, including $11.6 billion in emergency spending for additional mine-resistant vehicles.

The vehicles are produced by companies including Navistar International and General Dynamics Land Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics.

Last month General Dynamics Land Systems received a $188.8 million work order from Force Protection to produce 401 of the vehicles for the Marine Corps.

Alice Lipowicz writes for Washington Technology, an 1105 Government Information Group publication.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

Featured

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

  • Comment
    Pilot Class. The author and Barbie Flowers are first row third and second from right, respectively.

    How VA is disrupting tech delivery

    A former Digital Service specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs explains efforts to transition government from a legacy "project" approach to a more user-centered "product" method.

  • Cloud
    cloud migration

    DHS cloud push comes with complications

    A pressing data center closure schedule and an ensuing scramble to move applications means that some Homeland Security components might need more than one hop to get to the cloud.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.