How Border Crisis Became Focus of Federal Spending Debate and What Elon Musk Has to Do With It

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The crisis at the U.S. southern border is now being closely linked to Congress passing annual spending bills

Congress has until Saturday to pass the 12 government spending bills for fiscal year 2024, or a short-term funding bill, in order to avoid a government shutdown, but some Republican lawmakers say they won’t support funding the government without measures to secure America’s southern border. 

“From the beginning of this process, I’ve vowed to defend the 750,000 Texans I represent by refusing to fund a [Department of Homeland Security] that is not doing its job to secure the border,” Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, told Fox News Digital.

“If the Senate and the president continue open-border policies, then the House will not move a DHS appropriations bill,” Roy said. “Texans are done. We are over it. No matter what happens before this is all over, border security needs to get done, period, full stop. No security, no funding.”

In a letter to his colleagues on Aug. 10, Roy and 14 of his fellow GOP legislators called on other lawmakers to withhold funding from DHS until legislation is passed to secure the border. 

The House Freedom Caucus, comprising about 45 of the more conservative Republican members of the House, also issued a letter in August stating that it would oppose any spending measure that does not include a bill the House already passed called the Secure the Border Act of 2023, which would institute a number of border security measures, including resuming construction on the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Republicans are digging in their heels and using the power of the purse to demand border security as Customs and Border Protection reported 304,162 illegal aliens were encountered in the month of August, surpassing the previous record high in December 2022 by nearly 2,000.  

The current surge of illegal aliens has overwhelmed the border town of Eagle Pass, Texas—a city of about 30,000 about 140 miles southwest of San Antonio—where the Democratic mayor has declared a state of emergency.  

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Over the weekend, Fox News’ Griff Jenkins reported that more than 4,000 illegal aliens crossed the border into Eagle Pass between Friday and Sunday. And according to his CBP sources, Jenkins said Monday that there “were approximately 11,000 migrant encounters at the [southwest] border in the last 24 hours, marking the ‘single-highest day in recent memory.’” 

In response to the surge, entrepreneur and tech giant Elon Musk wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that he will visit Eagle Pass “to see what’s going on for myself.” 

Musk’s post has been seen more than 900,000 times. His visit to the southern border is likely to draw the attention of a wide range of the American public, many of whom might not otherwise be following the current border crisis. 

It is too soon to know, but Musk’s trip to Eagle Pass might give conservatives in Congress additional public support and leverage to demand passage of border security legislation alongside federal spending bills. 

On this week’s edition of the “Problematic Women” podcast, we explain how likely a government shutdown is and Musk’s forthcoming visit to the southern border.

Also on today’s show, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has told his fellow senators they can wear whatever they want. Do dress codes matter? We weigh in. Plus, the Supreme Court will be back in session on Monday. What are the big cases everyone will be talking about this term? We explain. And as always, we’ll be crowning our “Problematic Woman of the Week.”

Listen to the podcast below:

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The post How Border Crisis Became Focus of Federal Spending Debate and What Elon Musk Has to Do With It appeared first on The Daily Signal.

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