Congressman Fitzpatrick, Bipartisan Lawmakers Introduce New Border & Military Aid Proposal

A new proposal by Congressman Fitzpatrick and a bipartisan group in the U.S. House is aimed at bolstering border security and provide defense appropriations for allies.

Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick speaking.
Credit: Tom Sofield/

Following a GOP blockade of a U.S. Senate border security and foreign aid plan, Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick and a bipartisan group have unveiled a new proposal in the U.S. House.

Dubbed the Defending Borders, Defending Democracies Act, the bill aims to bolster U.S. border security and provide defense appropriations for allies Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.

The bill introduced on Friday marks an attempt to navigate through the congressional deadlock after House Republicans vowed to block a bipartisan plan introduced in the U.S. Senate.

The Defending Borders, Defending Democracies Act mandates a one-year suspension of entry for inadmissible aliens to secure “operational control” of U.S. border with Mexico. It would allow for the immediate detention and expulsion of such individuals by immigration officials. The proposal includes a one-year implementation of the “Remain in Mexico” policy, with provisions for “humane exceptions” for individuals with disabilities or acute medical conditions. It also earmarks $66.32 billion in defense-only funding for strategic allies.

In a statement Fitzpatrick’s office detailed the defense spending: $47.69 billion to support the defense of Ukraine, including $13.77 billion for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative; $10.40 billion to support the defense of Israel, including $4 billion to procure the Iron Dome and David’s Sling and $1.2 billion to procure the Iron Beam; $4.91 billion to support U.S. and allied deterrence operations in the Indo-Pacific; $2.44 billion to support operations in U.S. Central Command, including to address combat expenditures related to recent conflict in the Red Sea; and $542 million for U.S. Indo-Pacific Command to address critical, unfunded operations.

The military aid bill is smaller than the proposal in the U.S. Senate, which House Speaker Mike Johnson has said will be dead on arrival in the House.

“As the world’s oldest and strongest democracy, the United States’ primary responsibility must be to secure its own borders. But we also have an obligation to assist our allies in securing their borders, especially when they come under assault by dictators, terrorists, and totalitarians,” said Fitzpatrick, a Republican.

Former President Donald Trump, who is running for election, has called on Republicans not to support immigration reform legislation.

The proposal is backed by Fitzpatrick; Jared Golden a Democrat from Maine; Don Bacon, a Republican from Nebraska; Ed Case, a Democrat from Hawaii; Mike Lawler, a Republican from New York; Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, a Democrat from Washington; Lori Chavez-DeRemer, a Republican from Oregon; and Jim Costa, a Democrat from California.

The White House and GOP Speaker Johnson did not issue statements on the proposal as of Friday.

Earlier this week, the White House chided the House for tanking the Senate’s bipartisan border and foreign military aid deal. Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre noted that the House and Senate will be on recess until later this month.

Human Rights First, an international human rights group, said the bill was “deeply flawed.”

“The asylum-related provisions of this bill would only bring more chaos, dysfunction, and human suffering to our borders. Resurrecting the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy would deliver people seeking asylum to torture, separate families, and lead to more grave human rights abuses,” said Eleanor Acer, Senior Director for Refugee Protection at Human Rights First. “Human Rights First’s extensive research on the policy decisively shows that ‘Remain in Mexico’ cannot be implemented safely or humanely. The policy not only wastes finite government resources, it is a boon to the criminal cartels that target migrants delivered to wait in their territories.”

The new House legislation follows the Senate’s passage on Tuesday of a $95 billion international assistance bill, which excluded border security funding and bipartisan border policy provisions that initially proposed and blocked by Republicans.

About the author

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for 12 years for both newspaper and online publications. Tom’s reporting has appeared locally, nationally, and internationally across several mediums. He is proud to report on news in the county where he lives and to have created a reliable publication that the community deserves.

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