Congresswoman Martha McSally

Representing the 2nd District of Arizona

McSally Amendment Passes Committee, Directs More Resources to the Border

January 22, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – During a markup hearing yesterday held by the House Homeland Security Committee, U.S. Representative Martha McSally successfully offered an amendment to the Secure Our Borders First Act, legislation to gain and maintain control of our borders. McSally’s amendment directs Border Patrol resources to be placed at the border, instead of miles inland, requires more manpower at forward operating bases, and requires additional manning and deployment of air assets to rapidly respond to incursions in remote areas.

“I thank my colleagues on the committee for their support of my amendment, which is critical to stopping illegal activity at the border and protecting our residents,” said McSally. “Right now, our border patrol agents do all they can to stop illegal activity, but our current “defense in depth” strategy just isn’t working. It puts the lives of Southern Arizonans at risk, while allowing traffickers and cartels to enter and move through our communities. I’ve had a lot of conversations with our border residents, and re-focusing our strategy at the border is a top priority I’ve heard. By directing resources actually at the border, adding manpower to forward operating bases in remote areas, and taking advantage of our airborne assets, my amendment helps ensure our residents are kept safe and illegal activity is kept out.”

“Rep. McSally has provided a solid amendment helping those Americans who are affected by our porous border,” said Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. “I believe her amendment strengthens the overall direction of the bill and helps protect the American people and sovereignty of this nation.”

Rep. McSally’s amendment directs the Chief of Border Patrol to ensure Border Patrol personnel are deployed and patrol as close to the international boundary as possible. The amendment requires the Chief to deploy the maximum practicable amount of agents to forward operating bases in remote areas and requires the use of air capabilities and other assets to respond quickly to incursions in remote areas. Finally, the amendment requires the Border Security Verification Commission, a commission established by the bill to independently verify that the border is secure, to consult with ranchers living along the border.

The full text of Rep. McSally’s amendment can be seen HERE.

McSally joined Chairman McCaul to introduce the Secure Our Borders First Act on Friday, January 16, but expressed concerns at the time about its direct impact on Southern Arizona. McSally has spent her first two weekends in office meeting with ranchers, border residents, and Customs and Border Protection agents to gain their insights to direct a better strategy for Southern Arizona.