House bill funds border wall in RGV; Santa Ana refuge area not in allocations - Brownsville Herald: Valley

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House bill funds border wall in RGV; Santa Ana refuge area not in allocations

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Posted: Friday, March 23, 2018 9:45 am

In an attempt to avoid a government shutdown Friday, the House passed a $1.3 trillion spending bill Thursday that includes more than a billion dollars for border wall-related funds in the Rio Grande Valley; none of which, however, will be allocated for the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge.

The Omnibus bill, which now heads to the Senate, includes $1.32 billion related to border wall funding, including 25 miles of border wall in Hidalgo County and 8 miles in Starr County.

Rep. Filemon Vela, D-Brownsville, who voted against the bill, called the refuge’s omission a “major consolation,” but was not pleased about hundreds of millions of dollars for wall funding in the Valley.

“To me, it’s still astonishing that any Democrat would vote for a nickel of funding for any wall whatsoever,” Vela said.

Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-McAllen, also voted against the bill. Voting in favor were Reps. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, and Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso. The bill passed the House Thursday by a vote of 256-167.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, whose chamber is expected to act as quickly as it can before the government runs out of funding Friday night, said he will vote against the bill.

“It fails to provide sufficient funds to properly secure our border, let alone build the wall that is necessary,” Cruz said in a statement.

A more complete version of this story is available on

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