Press Release

Rep. Cuellar Applauds the Redirected Border Barrier Funds, Emphasizes the Role of Congressional Appropriators

Rio Grande Valley Levee System and Joint Base San Antonio will benefit from redirection of funds

Washington | Dana Youngentob, DC Press Secretary (202-340-9148); Alexis Torres, District Press Secretary (956-286-6007), June 11, 2021

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will reprioritize the Border Barrier Funds to address and remediate urgent life, safety, and environmental issues resulting from the previous administration’s border wall construction.

“As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, and Vice Chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee, I have worked hard to ensure the previous administration’s diverted military funding is returned, border wall construction is terminated, and local border communities receive those resources for legitimate priorities,” said Congressman Cuellar. “I want to thank the Biden Administration for its commitment to prioritizing, and giving back, limited resources that Congress had appropriated to specific causes and programs that create real impact on the border. I will continue fighting to ensure that the residents of South Texas are protected from any further harm and that these funds are used for modern, effective measures in securing our southern border.”

More specifically, the redirected funds will be used to:

  • Close Breaches in the Rio Grande Valley Levee System.
    • Low-lying regions in Hidalgo County, Texas face threats of serious flooding after the previous administration excavated the Rio Grande Valley’s flood barrier system to make way for the border wall. 
  • Clean-up of construction sites previously funded by the Department of Defense, including drainage, erosion control, site remediation, and material disposal.
    • Refunding the $22,000,000 Camp Bullis Dining Facility project at Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA), Texas
  • Appropriated funds may also be used for mitigating some environmental damage caused by border wall construction.

The prior administration planned to spend over $15 billion on wall construction and diverted over $10 billion of those funds from military projects and other sources. The Department of Defense is terminating all border wall projects using the diverted funds, and returning the remaining, unobligated funds to their original sources.