MAXWELL, Iowa--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The omnibus Consolidated Appropriations bill includes a little-known provision that guts the major provisions of the Secure Fence Act of 2006. This provision -- buried on page 123 of Division E of the Consolidated Appropriations Act - contradicts the Secure Fence Act’s specific mandate of a double-layer fence covering 854 miles of the U.S-Mexico border.
Grassfire.org has been tracking this provision which was first introduced quietly by Sen. Hutchison this summer as S.Amdt. 2466 to H.R. 2368 (the DHS appropriations bill). “The Hutchison amendment gives DHS virtually total discretion over how and where the fence is built,” says Grassfire.org President Steve Elliott. “In fact, DHS would not be required to build fencing in any particular location -- and the double-layer mandate is totally gone.”
In its report on the “Fence Funding Hoax,” Grassfire has chronicled how the plan to gut the Secure Fence Act was actually hatched the day the bill passed the Senate in 2006. (View that report.) “I find it odd that such an important amendment which releases DHS from specific requirements of an existing law would be passed by a simple voice vote in the Senate and then buried in the massive omnibus bill,” says Elliott. “The American people reasonably expect that a double-layer fence will be built but Congress has always had other plans. This amendment should be stripped from the final omnibus bill.”
Text of omnibus bill: http://www.rules.house.gov/110_fy08_omni.htm
(To view Hutchison Amendment, select “Division E” and view page 123)
Grassfire.org’s special report on the Funding Hoax: