A Texas congressman wants to send the federal government a whopping $1.5 billion bill for money the US representative says his state has spent to secure its border with Mexico.
US Rep. Pat Fallon introduced the “Lone Star Reimbursement Act” last week. If passed, it would require the Department of Defense to reimburse Texas for the cost of Operation Lone Star, the state’s border security initiative.
The bill notes that Operation Lone Star has resulted in the arrest of 134,000 immigrants. Another 16,700 illegal immigrants have been denied entry, according to the bill.
“As a border state, Texas is disproportionally impacted by illegal immigration, but we shouldn’t be forced to bear the entire financial burden when it comes to securing the entire country,” Rep. Fallon said in a press release. “Gov. Abbott launched Operation Lone Star because of a lack of action from this administration. Texas shouldn’t be punished for Biden’s mistake and my Lone Star Reimbursement Act recognizes this.”
The bill calls on the federal government to pay back Texas for its expenses during 2021 and 2022, however, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott already used federal dollars to pay for Operation Lone Star, according to the Texas Tribune. Abbott repurposed about $1 billion in federal coronavirus aid to help pay for Operation Lone Star.
Congressman Fallon’s office said the bill would only call on the Feds to reimburse Texas for state dollars.
Several Texas members of Congress are already on board, most recently gaining the backing of US Rep. August Pfluger.
“Our plan sends the invoice for the border crisis where it belongs: the President’s desk,” tweeted Pfluger.
Despite the popularity of the bill, Fallon’s office acknowledged the bill is unlikely to make it to the House floor since Democrats control the House.