WLOX-TV Biloxi

Hyde-Smith proposes using tariff revenues to fund border wall

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WLOX) - U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith announced the introduction of legislation to fund U.S. border security barriers with revenues generated from tariffs imposed on Chinese goods.

Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, introduced the Border, Law Enforcement, Operational Control, and Sovereignty (BLOCS) Act as an option for meeting U.S. border security goals and moving toward a resolution to the ongoing partial government shutdown.

“My bill relies on existing bipartisan laws to create a pathway toward resolving the partial government shutdown by strengthening border security and overcoming political roadblocks,” Hyde-Smith said.

“Directing revenue generated from tariffs imposed on Chinese products to border security would ensure resources are available to enforce current law. This is a reasonable use of tariff monies, and gets us past the argument over who is paying for border barriers and other security upgrades,” she said.

Rather than mandating a specific funding amount for border barriers, the BLOCS Act would direct 50 percent of additional annual revenue associated with three rounds of tariffs on China, currently $32.5 billion, be allotted to Department of Homeland Security to fulfill requirements of Section 102 of Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.

“We are past the point where we must get past partisan obstructions to significantly improve border security and reopen those federal agencies that have been shut down for more than a month,” Hyde-Smith said. “I offer this legislation as an option to meet those goals.”

Hyde-Smith voted for President Trump’s proposal to reopen the government and improve border security, but the bill lacked sufficient support to move forward.