By Dave Gibson, November 7, 2019
On June 19, 2019, the Democratically controlled House of Representatives passed an appropriations bill for the Department of Defense and attached it to the appropriations bills for the Departments of State, Energy, Labor, Health and Human Services and Education.
The Congressional Budget Office reports this spending measure will cost taxpayers $984.7 billion in fiscal 2020.
Of course, spending other peoples’ money is what Congress does, but this spending spree seems a particularly stinging slap in the face to American taxpayers, considering the current state of our own borders …
You see, contained in this measure are funds to “enhance the border security” of Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, and Tunisia while denying all funding to enhance our own nation’s border security.
On page 304 (of 650), it says: “None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act or any prior Department of Defense appropriations acts may be used to construct a wall, fence, border barriers, or border security infrastructure along the southern land border of the United States.”
Nor would it allow for the hiring of any new U.S. Border Patrol agents.
So, just how does the Department of Defense get to use the funds?
“For the ‘Counter-Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Train and Equip Fund, $1,295,000,000, to remain available until September 30, 2021,” says the bill. “Provided, that such funds shall be available to the Secretary of Defense in coordination with the Secretary of State, to provide assistance, including training; equipment; logistics support; supplies and services; stipends; infrastructure repair and renovation; and sustainment to foreign security forces, irregular forces, groups, or individuals participating, or preparing to participate in activities to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and their affiliated or associated groups.”
Of course, this is only the latest example of how our elected officials see the importance of protecting other nation’s border security, while ignoring our own …
In 2008, the Bush Administration announced that the U.S. would assist Egypt in constructing a high-security fence along the Gaza-Egypt border in order to stop weapon smuggling from the Palestinian territory.
Those weapons are often used against southern Israel.
A cable dated December 20, 2009, sent from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo to the Secretary of State in Washington, D.C., revealed that while the Gaza fence was being constructed with Egyptian money, a tunnel detection system was built and funded by the United States.
The cable, made public by Wikileaks, also detailed how the U.S. provided support for the installation of the tunnel detection system, which was to be completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers by April 2010.
The American taxpayers reportedly sent $23 million to Egypt for the project.