House approves border security funding, in 13th ‘piecemeal’ budget bill

By Chad Garland | Cronkite News

Border Patrol agents line up in formation on motor bikes in the Tucson sector.
Border Patrol agents line up in formation on motor bikes in the Tucson sector.

The House voted Thursday to fund Department of Homeland Security operations for fiscal 2014, the latest in a string of votes to reopen specific agencies in a strategy that Democrats deride as “cherry-picking” areas of the government.

The resolution, which passed on a largely party-line vote, would fund security, enforcement and investigations at Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, among other agencies.

It is the 13th such resolution passed by the House, all of which have stalled in the Senate. Leaders there have refused to vote on individual agency budgets, arguing instead for a budget bill that would allow the entire federal government to reopen.

“It’s really not the right answer,” said Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Flagstaff, of the latest resolution.

She was one of three Arizona Democrats, with Reps. Ed Pastor of Phoenix and Raul Grijalva of Tucson, to vote against the border bill. Democratic Reps. Ron Barber of Tucson and Kyrsten Sinema of Phoenix joined the state’s four Republicans to support the measure.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the resolution would provide $19.1 billion for Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Coast Guard and other immigration and customs operations.

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