Heritage Action urges ‘no’ vote on border security, foreign aid package

Heritage Action, the advocacy arm of the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank, is urging lawmakers to oppose the national security supplemental package, which includes the bipartisan border agreement and foreign aid to Ukraine and Israel, among other foreign policy priorities.

The procedural vote on the legislation, which the Senate is expected to take up Wednesday, will be marked as a “key vote” for lawmakers on the group’s legislative scorecard, further pressuring Senate Republicans to fall in line.

“The Biden administration’s ‘emergency’ supplemental funding request for billions in deficit-financed spending is a disingenuous effort to conflate and leverage popular support for Israel and false promises of border security for continued spending on the conflict in Ukraine and an open southern border,” the group wrote in a key-vote notice.

Heritage Action argued most of the issues tackled in the national security supplemental were known months ago and therefore should have been incorporated into the administration’s standard appropriations request to Congress.

“With the exception of replenishing defense capabilities for our ally Israel following the deadly terrorist attack by Hamas — a genuinely time-sensitive and unforeseen crisis — all other priorities in this supplemental were fully known at the start of the current appropriations cycle,” the statement read.

“Rather than budgeting for these stated ‘priorities’ by eliminating less important federal programs, this supplemental attempts to use the legitimate ‘emergency’ designation for the war in Israel to dodge responsible budgeting for the Biden-designed crisis at the southern border and sending billions more of unaccountable taxpayer dollars into Ukraine,” it continued.

Since the bill text was unveiled on Sunday — after months of negotiations — support among Republicans has quickly dwindled. It marks a sharp reversal of the GOP position just a few months ago, when Republicans refused to take up any supplemental aid package that did not also address the spike in migration at the southern border.

The border agreement includes provisions to raise standards for asylum screening and to process claims faster, and it ends the practice known as “catch and release.” The bill would also provide new authority to the federal government to close the border to most migrants when crossings reach a set threshold, and it seeks to make it easier for migrants to get work authorization and eliminate the immigration court backlog.

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