House Republicans prioritize funding border security, defunding Mayorkas’ salary

(The Center Square) – The U.S. House of Representatives laid out a plan to prioritize funding border security and cut programs Republicans argue facilitate illegal immigration and national security threats when debating HR 8752, The Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2025.

House Republicans also passed an amendment to the bill to defund Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ salary after they impeached him in February. House Republicans argue his policies facilitated the border crisis and escalated terrorist threats. Since January 2021, an estimated 12 million foreign nationals from more than 150 countries have illegally entered the U.S.; federal agencies, including DHS, have acknowledged they can’t locate millions of them, The Center Square reported.

The $64.8 billion appropriations bill allocates $2.9 billion more to DHS than was allocated for fiscal 2024.

U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs, R-AZ, filed the amendment to the Rules Committee, which states, “None of the funds made available by this act may be used to pay the salary and expenses of the position of the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, occupied by Alejandro Mayorkas.”

It passed by a vote of 193 to 173 with 72 not voting. Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón was the sole Republican who voted against it.

“Taxpayers should not be paying an unelected bureaucrat who was impeached by the House,” Biggs wrote in a social media post. “That’s why I sponsored an amendment to this year’s Homeland Security Appropriations Act to prohibit funding to be used for the salary of DHS Secretary Mayorkas.”

Biggs also joined other members of the House Freedom Caucus in March who called on their colleagues to stop funding the border crisis, The Center Square reported.

Led by Republican Reps. Bob Good of Virginia and Chip Roy of Texas, the caucus said, “There is an unprecedented assault on the safety of Americans and the sovereignty of our nation due to the ‘open border policies’ of radical progressive Democrats led by President Joe Biden. The question for House Republicans is, what are we willing to do about it?

“The next government appropriations package funds multiple avenues Biden exploits to release millions into America. … From DHS’s abuse of laws to release under parole and asylum, to the United Nations and NGO’s facilitating the trafficking of humans – the abuse can be checked, if House of Representatives exercises its constitutional duty.”

They vowed to prioritize funding border security and stop funding programs that didn’t, otherwise “Republicans will be actively funding this crisis,” they said.

On Wednesday, House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee Chairman Mark Amodei, R-NV, took to the House floor to explain how the bill addressed these concerns.

It includes historic increases that prioritize “investments that make the border more secure and makes appropriate cuts to policies and programs that we know do not work,” he said.

Examples of cuts include a program that allocated hundreds of millions of dollars in grants to non-profit organizations for transportation and other services “that only further incentivizes illegal immigration,” Amodei said, adding it didn’t deter illegal immigration.

House Republicans also cut $1.7 billion that was allocated last year to fund tents to process illegal border crossers, which only incentivized illegal immigration, they said.

Instead, they prioritized investing “in tried-and-true methods of securing the border that the men and women in the field are asking for – more agents, detention beds, technology, and physical barriers,” Amodei said.

The bill sustains funding for 22,000 Border Patrol agents and invests $300 million for border security technology, the highest amount ever allocated. It includes funding for autonomous surveillance towers, mobile surveillance platforms, counter-tunnel equipment, and a significant investment in counter-drone capability.

It also allocates $600 million to finish building the border wall and $305 million for non-intrusive inspection equipment and upgrades at ports of entry.

It increases funding to $3.1 billion to support 50,000 detention beds for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 8,500 more beds than were funded in fiscal 2024 and 16,000 more than the administration requested.

It also allocates $822.7 million for flights and ground transportation for ICE to remove more than 1.4 million foreign nationals with removal orders who are still in the country illegally.

More than $60 million is allocated to hire more than 250 new law enforcement officers to investigate transnational criminal activity and $178 million to TSA to enhance screening device efforts at airports, nearly double the requested amount.

It also boosts funding for the U.S. Coast Guard to combat threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party.

The bill “funds the core responsibilities of the Department that protects the Homeland,” Amodei said. “What it doesn’t do, is fund liberal priorities that further contribute to the chaos at our southern border.”

The measure is unlikely to pass in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

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