Gotta love it. Congress gets all uppity on insisting that we build a 370 mile fence along the Mexican border and then votes not to fund the damned thing:
“If we never appropriate the money needed to construct these miles of fencing and vehicle barriers, those miles of fencing and vehicle barriers will never actually be constructed,” Mr. Sessions told his colleagues yesterday before the vote.
Sen. Judd Gregg, the New Hampshire Republican who historically has fought to increase border security and enforcement of federal immigration laws, was among those who opposed Mr. Session’s amendment.
“We should build these walls; there’s no question about it,” he said. “But the real issue here is the offset that’s being used, and the offset creates a Hobson’s choice for almost everyone here.”
Mr. Session’s amendment would have required across-the-board cuts to the rest of the Homeland Security appropriations bill, Mr. Gregg said, which would mean cutting 750 new border-patrol agents and 1,200 new detention beds for illegal aliens that he included in the bill.
“We’ve attempted very hard to increase Border Patrol agents in this bill, increase detention beds,” he said. “And, yes, we haven’t funded the wall specifically as a result of our efforts to do these increases.”
OK, I kind of understand what’s going on here. They defeated the amendment that would have funded the fence because it would have cut into other things they were trying to increase, but then why the hell didn’t they include funding in the original bill for building the fence in the first friggin’ place? For that matter, how do they explain this:
Mr. Sessions said that if his colleagues were serious about building the fence that they promised, they would find the funding.
“We will rightly be accused of not being serious about the commitments we’ve made to the American people with regard to actually enforcing the laws of immigration in America, which many Americans already believe we’re not serious about,” he said. “They don’t respect what we’ve done in the past, and they should not. We have failed, and it’s time for us to try to fix it and do better.”
To prove his point, Mr. Sessions offered another amendment, which appropriated another $85.7 million to enable Homeland Security to hire 800 more full-time investigators to probe immigration-law violations. The vote against that amendment was 66-34.
Not that I’m all that upset by the idea that the fence won’t be built, but still, what the hell are they smoking in Washington these days?