Left Wing Revolt: 4 House Frosh Rip Budget Deal Over Increased ICE Funding

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 29: From left, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., attend a House Oversight and Reform Committee business meeting in Rayburn Building on Tuesday, January 29, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Group

Four progressive House freshman announced Thursday that will vote no on a border deal that would avert a government shutdown. The rejected the bill as supporting “abusive agencies” and “hateful policies, priorities, and rhetoric.”

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) announced their opposition to the bill in a joint statement Thursday. The bill is expected to pass both chambers later Thursday.

The House progressives took issue specifically for its provisions that increase funding for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as the bills allocation for spending on a 55-mile border fence and an increase in detention beds.

“By any reasonable measure, Donald Trump’s weaponization of ICE and CBP has been a failure. The Department of Homeland Security does not deserve an increase in funding, and that is why we intend to vote no on this funding package,” the statement said.

“We want to be abundantly clear: this is not a rebuke of federal workers or those who depend on the services they provide, but a rejection of the hateful policies, priorities, and rhetoric of the Trump Administration,” the statement said.

So far, most of the grumbling about the deal has come from critics on the right, who are disappointed that the border fence funding falls well below the $5.7 billion Trump previously demanded for a wall. Still, the legislation is expected to pass easily when both chambers vote on it Thursday.

Trump has not said definitively whether he will sign the bill.

Read the full statement from the four House Democrats below:

“In this country, our diversity is our greatest strength. Immigrants fuel our nation’s economy, enrich our nation’s culture, and enhance our social fabric.  Quite simply, we are a better nation because of our immigrants.

“And yet, this Administration continues to threaten the dignity and humanity of our immigrant population. The Department of Homeland Security has separated thousands of children from their parents, denied asylum to those fleeing danger, and used taxpayers dollars as a slush fund to incite terror in immigrant communities. The efficacy of a government agency must be determined by assessing ‘outcomes.’ By any reasonable measure, Donald Trump’s weaponization of ICE and CBP has been a failure. The Department of Homeland Security does not deserve an increase in funding, and that is why we intend to vote no on this funding package.

“The funding bill on the floor today does not address any of our concerns and instead, gives more money to these abusive agencies:

  • This bill gives $14.9 billion to CBP, nearly $950 million above current funding levels.
  • This bill gives $7.6 billion to ICE, an increase of more than $500 million.
  • The bill provides $1.37 billion for 55 miles of a border wall.
  • This bill includes funding for an 11% increase in detention beds—an average of more than 45,000 per day, providing ICE the ability to detain 5,000 additional people per day.

“We want to be abundantly clear: this is not a rebuke of federal workers or those who depend on the services they provide, but a rejection of the hateful policies, priorities, and rhetoric of the Trump Administration.”

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