UT – House OKs funds for port completion
The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a bill that includes $216 million to complete the expansion of the San Ysidro Port of Entry.
The money would be used to pay for an administration and pedestrian building at San Ysidro. The next step would be passage by the Senate.
The funding approved by the House is part of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2015, or H.R. 5016, which passed 228-195, with strong Republican support.
“Today’s approval is significant as this funding is for the final phase of the project that will assist in solidifying San Diego as the gateway to domestic and international markets,” the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce said in statement announcing the bill’s passage.
But while members of San Diego’s congressional delegation back the San Ysidro expansion, support for the bill was not unanimous. Republicans Darrell Issa and Duncan Hunter voted for the bill, while Democrats Juan Vargas, Susan Davis and Scott Peters opposed it.
The Obama administration, which included funding for completing the $741 million San Ysidro expansion in its fiscal 2015 budget request, strongly opposed the overall appropriations bill, saying it “impedes implementation of the Affordable Care Act, undermines critical components of Wall Street reform, and fails to provide the resources necessary to provide robust taxpayer services and improve tax enforcement.”
Vargas could not be reached Wednesday afternoon. But the chamber's statement quoted him saying that "although I greatly disagree with many of the provisions within the bill, I’m pleased that its approval on the House floor brings us one step closer to fully funding this project.”