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Bill Owens’s amendment to block ‘border fee’ moves forward on House floor

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The House of Representatives on Thursday approved a $38.9 billion Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill for the 2014 fiscal year, which includes an amendment that effectively would block the proposed “border fee” study.

In a news release, Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, who had introduced the amendment, said he would “continue pushing to see that this prohibition on border fees is signed into law.”

In its budget submission earlier this year, DHS had proposed to conduct a study “assessing the feasibility and cost relating to establishing and collecting a land border crossing fee for both land border pedestrians and passenger vehicles along the northern and southwest borders of the United States.”

“Adding a fee to cross the border would cause tremendous damage for the businesses that depend on cross-border tourism and commerce, while doing little to raise revenue for the government,” Mr. Owens said.

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