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Lankford, Sinema Advocate for CBP to Repair Ports Along Southern Border

WASHINGTON, DC – Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), both members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee today introduced a bill to give the Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) the authority to repair ports along the southern border.
 
“During my visits to the southern border, it is evident that CBP needs to repair ports between the US and Mexico. Bureaucratic red tape has blocked CBP from making those simple fixes to increase border security and better manage trade. This bill is a straightforward solution that will ensure our CBP officers have the resources they need to keep the country secure,” said Lankford.
 
“Arizona’s ports are our first line of defense to stop dangerous drugs and individuals from entering the United States, and a key driver of our local economy. Our legislation builds on the historic investments strengthening America’s port infrastructure in my bipartisan infrastructure law by cutting red tape and allowing local CBP leadership to make repair decisions that work for their officers, without waiting for Washington,” said Sinema.
 
Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Gary Peters (D-MI) joined Lankford and Sinema to introduce the bill. 
 
“Customs and Border Protection shouldn’t have to deal with red tape just to make simple repairs at ports along the southern border,” said Cornyn. “Our bill cuts out the middleman so CBP can streamline the repair process and strengthen the security of our border.”
 
“Ports of entry are critical to facilitating lawful and safe trade and travel and ensuring that border states like Michigan can continue serving as hubs for international commerce,” said Peters. “This commonsense, bipartisan bill will ensure Customs and Border Protection is able to make improvements to facilities at our Northern and Southern borders so dedicated officers on the front lines can more effectively safeguard our national and economic security.”
 
BACKGROUND:
  • The bill cuts red tape by allowing CBP to repair these ports without involving the General Services Administration (GSA), unless the project is valued at more than $300,000. 
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  • GSA serves as the federal government’s landlord and buildings’ superintendent. Removing them from low-cost projects at CBP would help streamline the process for repairs and updates at facilities along the southern border and allows GSA to focus on larger projects. 
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  • Lankford introduced this legislation last Congress, and it passed the Senate by unanimous consent.
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