On Thursday, the House and Senate approved a $1.5 trillion omnibus spending package to fund the federal government through the remainder of the fiscal year. The bill, which was signed on Saturday by President Joe Biden, includes a 6.7% bump in domestic programs to $730 billion and a 5.6% increase in defense spending to $782 billion.
However, it provides "little hope" for the American people that the long-running crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border will be addressed. That's according to Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
"They appropriated some money for good things – you know, for border enforcement, for some sections of the wall," he acknowledges. "But there is nothing in there that will compel the administration to actually spend the money as it has been designated by Congress."
And that, says Mehlman, is a big problem. "… It's nice to have the legislative language [in there], but if the administration refuses to comply then it all becomes meaningless," he argues. "And given the track record of this administration, we can expect that they're going to drag their feet and not do very much of this."
In fact, says FAIR, there's every reason to believe the money will be diverted to support the administration's anti-enforcement efforts.
If Republicans regain control of one or both chambers of Congress in the midterm elections, Mehlman contends they will have a mandate to aggressively utilize control of the purse strings and increased oversight authority to ensure that the Biden administration actually secures the border and enforces U.S. immigration laws.