The final vote on the $769 billion bill was 235-192. (Five Republicans also crossed the aisle to vote "nay", though none were from Arizona.) The contentious border wall funding was a key part of a so-called "mini-bus" of four appropriations bill dubbed as the "Make America Secure Act".
O'Halleran released a statement calling it a "bipartisan" spending bill, focusing on the benefits to Arizona (veterans, water projects) and decrying the "legislative gimmick" that included the funding for the wall:
“As I have said before, our immigration system must be reformed through a bipartisan process that includes an investment in 21st century technology and additional support for border patrol agents. These are proven methods that secure our border. A border wall is not. House leadership should not be using legislative gimmicks to circumvent regular order and divide Congress on the final passage of a bill that is so critical to our national security.”Sinema's statement toed a similar line as O'Halleran's, noting the "bipartisan" nature and her opposition to the wall.
“Our top priority is to keep Arizona families and our country safe. This legislation responsibly funds our military to ensure our men and women in uniform have the tools they need to protect our nation.
"It gives our troops a 2.4% pay raise, funds programs like the A-10, Apache, and F-35 that support good Arizona jobs, and funds the Veterans Health Administration so our veterans can receive the care they deserve. By working together, we can keep our country safe and support servicemembers, veterans, and their families.
“I do not support every provision in this bill and voted twice to remove funding for the border wall. The wall is a waste of taxpayer money that will not ever be built, and won't keep us safe. Congress must work together on effective border solutions and comprehensive immigration reform that secures our country and strengthens our economy.”On the flip side, Rep. Martha McSally (R-CD2) voted with nearly all of her Republican colleagues BUT conspicuously failed to mention the border wall funding in her extensive statement about the victory.
“As a 26-year veteran of the Air Force, I am committed to ensuring that our military has the resources it needs to be prepared at all times and that our veterans receive proper care. This bill restores readiness shortfalls, gives our troops a pay raise, and invests in equipment and training for our troops to counter ISIS and other threats. It also provides funding for better and increased access to care for our veterans.
This bill supports Southern Arizona’s defense assets by fully funding the A-10 fleet, the Tomahawk missile line at Raytheon, crucial intelligence missions at Ft Huachuca. It also increases army end strength by 10,000 personnel. There are many dangerous threats facing our nation today. This bill ensures we have the tools, resources, equipment, training, and morale to address these challenges.”The appropriations bill now heads to the Senate, where it will likely be significantly re-shaped.
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