Press Releases

Reps. Roybal-Allard, Levin, Thompson, McDermott Issue Statement on Customs Offset in Highway Bill

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Washington, November 3, 2015 | Ben Soskin ((202) 225-1766) | comments
Today, four key Democratic Congressmembers expressed serious concern about a provision in the Senate-approved highway bill being considered by the House Rules Committee that would divert money away from the Customs User Fee Account to help offset the cost of the highway bill.  House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (MI-09), House Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (MS-02), and House Ways and Means Committee Member Jim McDermott (WA-07) filed an amendment that would ensure that the additional revenue stays in the Customs User Fee Account, and issued the following joint statement:

“The highway bill passed in the Senate breaks the longstanding precedent that funds created by the payment of Customs User Fees be used to pay for Customs-related expenses.  Frustratingly, this break in precedent comes at a time when there is a staffing shortage of 1,811 Customs Officers across the U.S.  The funds generated by indexing Customs User Fees to inflation are desperately needed to ensure that our nation’s border is secure, mitigate long wait times at our border for both trade and travel, and ensure that the United States is in compliance with its international obligations.  We urge the Rules Committee to adopt our amendment.”

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