Costa, bipartisan House group propose funding for border and Ukraine

The House of Representatives has refused to take up a defense funding bill for Ukraine without addressing the crisis at the southern border.

Rep. Jim Costa (D–Fresno) is part of a bipartisan group of lawmakers proposing a bill to provide one year of funding to stop the crisis at the southern border. 

The bill – known as Defending Borders, Defending Democracies Act – would also provide defense-only funding for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. 


Costa joined with Brian Fitzpatrick (R–Pennsylvania), Jared Golden (D–Maine), Don Bacon (R–Nebraska), Ed Case (D–Hawaii), Mike Lawler (R–New York), Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D–Washington) and Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R–Oregon) to introduce the bill. 

The backstory: Earlier this week the Senate passed a $95 billion bill to provide funding for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. 

  • But Republicans have shot that bill down, with Speaker Mike Johnson (R–Louisiana) withholding it from a floor vote since it lacked funding for the border. 

The border: The Defending Borders, Defending Democracies Act would return President Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy for one year. 

  • That means migrants seeking admission to the U.S., including asylum, would be required to stay in Mexico while U.S. courts review their claims. 
  • The bill also gives the Department of Homeland Security the authority to detain and immediately expel migrants who do not meet the threshold for asylum claims. 

Foreign aid: Along with funding border security, the bill would provide $66.32 billion for defending Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. 

  • Ukraine would receive $47.69 billion, which includes $13.77 billion for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative. 
  • It would send $10.4 billion to support the defense of Israel, including $4 billion for the Iron Dome and David’s Sling, along with $1.2 billion for the Iron Beam. 
  • The remaining funds would go to operations in the Indo-Pacific and to support operations in the U.S. Central Command. 

What they’re saying: Costa said in a statement that Congress cannot continue to allow partisan politics to get in the way of its responsibility. 

  • “The American people and our allies are counting on us to meet our obligations to protect our national security. The world is watching how we respond,” Costa said. “Enhancing security at our southern border, and funding for Ukraine and other allies will deter greater threats from foreign adversaries like Russia and China. Responsible governance requires a compromise, and this bipartisan solution would address the challenges we face both here at home and abroad.”
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