Congressman leads effort in House of Representatives to stop land border crossing fee
Congressman Brian Higgins, NY-26, won approval for an amendment blocking the U. S. Department of Homeland Security's plan to study a new land crossing fee at U.S. borders. Higgins introduced the amendment during today's House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security hearing to markup H.R. 1417, the Border Security results Act of 2013.
"This is a huge victory for Western New York and other communities across the northern border that rely on the seamless flow of people and goods between the U.S. and Canada to support our economies," Higgins said. "The fee would have put an unfair burden on residents who frequently travel across the border, and the cost of the proposed study would have taken resources, already stretched thin, away from significantly more critical security needs."
Higgins first questioned Secretary Janet Napolitano about the plan, included in the Department of Homeland Security budget proposal, to study a new land border crossing fee during a committee hearing on April 18. He followed up on the conversation reiterating in a letter to the secretary his strong opposition to the plan. Higgins also spoke on the Floor in against the fee and led a joint letter with other members representing the northern border calling for the effort to be dropped.
Higgins is a member of the House committees on Homeland Security and Foreign Affairs and serves on the US-Canada Inter-Parliamentary Group. Higgins also sent a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction and would need to approve the fee. His congressional district of Western New York borders Canada and includes three automobile and two rail border crossings along the northern border.