Abraham votes to fund border wall
WASHINGTON - Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D., R-Alto, voted in favor of the spending bill passed by the House on Thursday that takes the first steps toward fulfilling President Trump’s promise of building a wall along our nation’s southern border.
“The American people demanded that we build the wall, and today Congress took the first steps to make President Trump’s commitment a reality,” Dr. Abraham said. “We must do all that’s necessary to protect our southern border from terrorist threats and stem the flow of illegal immigrants into our country.”
The spending bill contains about $1.6 billion in wall financing, which includes:
- $784 million for new border bollard fencing in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.
- $498 million for new bollard levee wall in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.
- $251 million for secondary fencing in San Diego, Calif.
- $38 million for planning for border wall construction.
The spending bill, called a “minibus,” combines the appropriations bills for Energy and Water, Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and the Legislative branch. Other appropriations bills will be heard later in the year.
In addition to the border wall funding, the minibus contains several funding wins for Louisiana.
The bill provides $10.5 million for the Ouachita and Black Rivers Navigation Project, an increase of more than $2 million from last year. It also includes $12.3 million for the J. Bennett Johnston Waterway along the Red River, which is more than $3.5 million over last year. These navigation projects are critical for moving agricultural commodities, energy, timber and aggregates. These waterways support thousands of jobs and provide for millions of dollars in economic benefits to Louisiana.
“The Ouachita and Black Rivers Navigation Project and the J. Bennett Johnston Waterway are critical to the economic health of my district. I’m proud to have secured these funds that will directly benefit the people of Louisiana,” Dr. Abraham said.
Additionally, the bill provides for $658.1 billion for the Department of Defense, as authorized by the National Defense Authorization Act. A provision in the bill will prevent a new round of base realignment and closure, meaning that troop levels at Fort Polk will be maintained.
“As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I go to work each day to make sure our men and women in uniform have the resources they need to be successful in keeping our nation safe. I’m pleased at this increase in defense spending and glad that Louisiana’s military bases will benefit from it,” Dr. Abraham said.