You may have heard that Congress passed a spending bill over the weekend. Among the many items in the bill were provisions for hiring new border agents, something Georgia U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff is noting in an announcement about the bill.

“Chaos at the southern border remains a serious threat to U.S. national security. That is why I have worked consistently to hire and deploy more CBP officers,” Ossoff said. “With the passage of this law, we will hire and deploy a record number of officers to stop human trafficking, drug trafficking, and other national security threats at the southern border.”

The funding will allow the border patrol to hire additional agents and hit a workforce of 22,000, a record high. The bill will also ensure border agents receive their overtime pay.

U.S. Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA 8) felt differently over in the other chamber. “The House passed another appropriations bill to avoid a government shutdown. I voted against this legislation because it contained millions of dollars for partisan Democratic funding projects from the Senate that I disagree with,” said Scott. “It is wrong to tie appropriations with leftist priorities instead of border security, and 111 Republicans joined me in voting no for this legislation.”

U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA 7) voted in favor of the bill, highlighting some of those policies that likely got Scott’s no vote, among them a $1 billion increase in climate change and resilience activities at the Department of Defense, blocking attempts to limit abortion access and a $1 billion increase for child care and Head Start programs.

“Families in our communities and across our nation cannot afford a government shutdown. Too many important programs would be at risk,” McBath said. “With these funding bills, Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate united and produced legislation to make government work for the American people. We are reducing drug costs and increasing the access and affordability of high-quality child care. These bills help keep workers safe and ensure they are paid what they are owed. We are making strategic investments to help keep communities safe and secure. We are investing in everyday Americans.”

Ossoff has also introduced the Deploy Fentanyl Scanners Act to deploy scanners at border entry points to help locate and identify fentanyl being smuggled across the border in personal vehicles. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) spent millions of dollars on the high-tech scanners but the agency lacks the funding to actually locate them where they need to be and install them. They are currently sitting in warehouses. Estimates from the CBP are that 95 percent of the fentanyl seized at the border is brought in through personal vehicles.

“Illegal fentanyl trafficking is devastating Georgia families and putting our kids at risk,”  Ossoff said. “My new bill will surge new fentanyl detection resources to the border to help detect and prevent fentanyl from crossing the border.”


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