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Heinrich Welcomes White House Supplemental Request to Invest in Securing Southern Border, Repairing Broken Immigration System, Fighting Opioid Epidemic, Bolstering Wildland Firefighter Pay, & Supporting Ukraine

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) welcomed President Joe Biden’s FY24 supplemental funding request that includes substantial investments in New Mexicans’ health and safety by strengthening border security, repairing and expediting the nation’s immigration process, and combatting the flow of illicit fentanyl. Additionally, the request includes $60 million to continue current wildland firefighter pay levels before short-term pay increases are set to expire on September 30th, and more funding in humanitarian and defense assistance to Ukraine. 

“By investing in resources that will enhance border security to repair our nation’s immigration system and ensuring wildland firefighters receive the living wages they deserve, this supplemental request reflects the kind of investments Congress should be making to protect the health and safety of all New Mexicans,” said Heinrich.  “I’m especially pleased to see that the Administration is pursuing a first-of-its-kind comprehensive fentanyl tracking system that I called for in the Senate’s Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill. This system will be critical to better understanding the movement of illicit drugs and more effectively combatting the fentanyl drug epidemic that’s devastating our communities.”

Heinrich added, “The United States must also continue working with our European allies to support Ukraine’s efforts to defend their democracy and sovereignty. It is in America’s national security interest to ensure that Ukraine wins this war. This funding is crucial to getting that done.”  

The supplemental funding request includes:  

  • $13.1 billion for Ukraine’s military needs, including:
    • $9.5 billion for equipment for Ukraine and replenishment of DOD stocks; and
    • $3.6 billion for continued military, intelligence, and other defense support 
  • $12 billion for FEMA to address ongoing disaster response and recovery efforts.
  • $4 billion for the U.S.-Mexico border, including: 
    • $2.7 billion for the Department of Homeland Security, including $2.2 billion for border management, shelter and services mutual aid reimbursement, $416 million for counter-fentanyl activities like non-intrusive inspection system deployment.
    • $800 million for the Department of State to identify root causes of immigration that will help Administration understand the forces driving families and children to flee dangerous conditions at home. 
    • $350 million for Department of Health and Human Services counter-fentanyl activities to include prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery support.
    •  $100 million for the Department of Labor to assist with child labor investigations.
    • $59 million for Executive Office for Immigration Review immigration judge teams; and fentanyl testing, tracing, network targeting, and data systems.
      • This follows Senator Heinrich successfully securing language in the Senate Appropriation Committee’s markup of the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill, directing the Drug Enforcement Administration to develop a first-of-its-kind comprehensive fentanyl tracking system. This system will track and document where fentanyl is seized, the chemical composition of seized substances, probable or known manufacturing location, and probable or known point of entry into the United States.
  • $2.3 billion in Treasury Department financing tools including to support World Bank infrastructure programs to help counter China's influence in developing countries.
  • $60 million for wildland firefighters 

Throughout his time in Congress, Heinrich has pushed to fix our nation’s broken immigration system while also delivering funding to federal officials and local communities along the southern border. He also continues to champion measures that target illicit fentanyl and tackle the opioid epidemic, both before it reaches our border and once it is in our communities.

This month, Heinrich announced $1.5 million in federal funding for the Santa Fe Recovery Center, Inc. from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to combat the opioid epidemic and substance abuse in communities across New Mexico.    

In July, Heinrich welcomed the inclusion of the FEND Off Fentanyl Act in the Senate’s annual defense bill, legislation he cosponsored that that targets the fentanyl crisis by wielding our country’s economic tools against transnational criminal organizations.  

Additionally, Heinrich successfully included $125 million in the Senate’s State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill to support efforts to stop global flows of synthetic drugs like fentanyl and their precursor materials through diplomatic engagement, law enforcement cooperation and capacity building, and governance capacity support. The bill also requires the Department of State to designate a Counter Fentanyl Coordinator to coordinate these initiatives, and it fully funds the implementation of the FENTANYL Results Act to build foreign law enforcement capacity to detect synthetic drugs like fentanyl. 

In May, Heinrich announced a new legislative proposal to respond to the immediate needs on the southern border. While not a substitute for comprehensive immigration reform, the Senators’ proposal would provide funding to federal officials and local communities responding to an increase in asylum seekers admitted into the United States after Title 42 came to an end.  

Finally, last year, Senator Heinrich successfully secured Senate Confirmation of Juan Sanchez as the first ever Federal Co-Chair for the Southwest Border Regional Commission. The Commission is one of seven authorized federal regional commissions and exists to promote economic development in the southern border regions of Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas. First established in 2008, it went unfunded until Senator Heinrich secured funding for it during each of his years on the Senate Appropriations Committee.