Congressman Matt Gaetz Applauds Passage of Spending Bill That Funds Border Wall
Washington, D.C. — By a vote of 217–185, the House tonight passed H.R. 695, a funding bill that prevents a partial government shutdown and offers extensive relief to communities impacted by hurricanes. Most significantly, it provides $5 billion in funding for a border wall — the complete amount requested by President Trump.
Following the passage of H.R. 695, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) issued the following statement:
“While I am normally reluctant to support short-term government funding bills, I was proud to vote for H.R. 695. This bill includes much-needed disaster aid for areas impacted by hurricanes and wildfires. Hurricane Michael was damaging to Northwest Florida, with widespread devastation in places like Panama City. While the disaster relief provisions of the bill are immensely valuable, the bill is also important because it finally delivers on President Trump’s top priority: the construction of a wall along our southern border. A border wall will keep America safe from external threats, and will restore America’s belief in the rule of law.
Illegal immigration costs America a tremendous amount of money — even very conservative estimates place the cost at over a hundred billion dollars per year. These costs come in the form of government programs and benefits (like education and healthcare), and are never reimbursed because most illegal immigrants pay no income taxes. Illegal immigration costs America in other ways, too — from lost jobs and lower wages, to the social costs of drugs, gang violence, and increased crime rates. Even though illegal immigration has decreased under President Trump, our borders remain porous and easily-crossed, and illegal immigration still poses a significant threat to America.
While America is a nation of laws, it is also a nation of compassion, a sentiment that is also reflected in this funding bill. With nearly $8 billion in dedicated disaster relief funding, this bill will help restore the communities ravaged by hurricanes, wildfires, and other natural disasters. H.R. 695 ensures that the National Flood Insurance Program will not lapse, so families with homes and property damaged in these terrible storms can receive the redress they deserve.
Short-term funding bills are frequently terrible, but funding the border wall made this a much better bill than most. I am proud to have voted in favor of H.R. 695. I encourage the Senate to put petty partisanship aside, and quickly pass this important legislation.”