With Congress facing a time crunch to fund the government by the end of September — once it returns from its August recess, of course — Republican Rep. Chip Roy of Texas is reportedly circulating a letter threatening to withhold money for the Department of Homeland Security unless Congress enacts a Republican crackdown on the southern border.
“No border security, no funding,” Roy, a leading member of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, says in his letter to colleagues.
Roy argues that his state “is bearing the brunt of a national crisis at our southern border” and he calls for new Homeland Security funding to be preconditioned on the enactment of a border-security bill, H.R. 2, that passed the Republican-led House this year but died in the Senate. Roy adds that he wants Texas to be reimbursed the $10 billion he says it has spent on border security efforts, with reimbursement also going to any other border state “that has demonstrated such significant law-enforcement related expenses.” Among other things, the congressman also calls for the ouster of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
“It wasn’t clear how many lawmakers would agree to sign on to the letter, which reflected a focus on the needs of Texas in addition to the more general concerns about federal spending,” The Wall Street Journal’s Siobhan Hughes reports. “A spokesman for McCarthy didn’t respond to a question about whether the ideas would be viable.”
Why it matters: Roy’s demands could further complicate the already difficult process of funding the government beyond September — a process that appears increasingly likely to detour into a partial government shutdown. Roy previously told Politico that he would oppose any stopgap Homeland Security funding that isn’t paired with border reforms and, as a member of the House Rules Committee, would also oppose starting floor debate on any such funding bill.