Miller says House border security plan more effective than Senate’s approach

Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.), the chairman of the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, recently held a hearing to explore the differences between the House and the Senate approaches to border security.

Miller, also the vice chair of the Homeland Security Committee, said the proposed bill recently approved by the full committee showed “real teeth” compared to the Senate bill.

The House bill, the Border Security Results Act, would implement a plan to secure U.S. borders before additional resources are expended. It would also require metrics to increase accountability and would apply a standard of no less than 90 percent effectiveness, holding the Department of Homeland Security accountable to an achievable, yet tough, standard of border security.

“The strategy and implementation plan required by this legislation will consist of actual analysis to inform how and where we apply resources we send to the border,” Miller said. “This strategy will eliminate the ad hoc nature of our spending, and in short, it will answer the question: what does a secure border look like?”

The House bill would allow the National Laboratories and border stakeholders to offer expertise to DHS.

“Third-party verification by outside experts is an important part of our approach to make sure that Congress and the American people aren’t being misled and that promises made are promises kept,” Miller said.

Miller said the $46 billion border security bill in the Senate lacked outcome-based metrics, accountability and a standard for success.

The proposed bill in the Senate includes doubling on border patrol and rebuilding hundreds of miles of fences.

“I do think that additional resources will be needed to achieve situational awareness, operational control of the border and enhance security at the ports of entry,” Miller said. “But just spending additional resources without a strategy to secure the border or means to hold DHS accountable for a result creates conditions that are ripe for waste.”

Witnesses at the hearing included Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) and Jayson Ahern, the former acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.