Press Release

Rep. Cuellar Fights Border Wall through FY20 Approps

Congressman’s language prohibits the use of Military Construction funding for border wall

Washington | Olya Voytovich, DC Press Secretary (202-226-1583); Leslie Martinez, District Press Secretary (956-286-6007), May 9, 2019

Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) helped secure bill language in the fiscal year 2020 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies appropriations bill prohibiting military construction funds to be used to construct a wall, fence, or border security infrastructure along the southern land border of the United States. This bill passed full committee markup today and will move to the House and Senate floors for a vote later this summer. He released the following statement: 

“Military construction projects are critical to the security of our nation and the well-being of our men and women in uniform and their families. After failing to convince the Government of Mexico to pay for his ineffective wall, the President declared an ‘emergency’ declaration that allows him to raid funds Congress has appropriated specifically for critical military construction.

“The U.S. Congress is a co-equal branch of government.  I worked hard to include this language because we cannot undermine the training, readiness, and quality of life of our military and their families. We can secure the border in a much more effective way, and at a fraction of the cost, by utilizing advanced technology and increasing the agents and properly equipping them on the border.

“I would like to thank Appropriations Chairwomen Lowey, and Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz for working with me to include this language in the bill.” 

In total, the legislation provides $108.1 billion in discretionary funding – $10 billion above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level. It funds the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, and other related agencies, including the American Battle Monuments Commission and Armed Forces Retirement Home. 

Within this total, discretionary funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is increased by $7.8 billion – nine percent – over the fiscal year 2019 enacted level, including funding to increase access to services for veterans, and to increase oversight and accountability within the department. This includes funding provided for veterans in the fiscal year 2019 appropriations bill.

Watch Congressman Cuellar speak during committee here.

Please see Congressman Cuellar’s attached appropriations language here.

A summary of the fiscal year 2020 Military Construction-Veterans Affairs funding bill is here.

Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) speaks at the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Committee Markup for fiscal year 2020 in Washington on Thursday.