Washington, DC – Today, a bipartisan group of legislators praised the House Appropriations Committee approval of the Financial Services and General Government Fiscal Year 2015 spending bill which includes $98 million for the Calexico Port of Entry reconfiguration and expansion project.
“It is an honor to work with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle, as well as the region’s community leaders and business organizations to make the Calexico Port of Entry a priority before Congress,” said Rep. Juan Vargas (CA-51). “Today’s approval brings us one step closer to improving our border’s efficiency and safety, creating jobs, and increasing economic growth in the region.”
Rep. Juan Vargas, together with Rep. Duncan Hunter (CA-50), Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52), Rep. Susan Davis (CA-53) and Rep. Raul Ruiz (CA-36), joined forces to urge members of the Appropriations Committee to include funding for the Calexico Port of Entry in the Appropriations Bill at the President’s FY 15 budget request level.
“I appreciate Chairman Rogers’ and Chairman Crenshaw’s support for the Calexico Port of Entry,” stated Rep. Hunter. “I have no doubt these improvements will reduce wait times, increase commerce and provide a much needed economic boost to the region. I join my fellow members in urging continued support for these provisions as the legislation heads to the House Floor”.
“This federal funding will pay dividends well into the future in economic opportunity and job growth for our region,” said Rep. Davis. “Promoting and sustaining economic growth should be the top priority of Congress. We can’t get there unless we make the critical investments in our nation’s ports of entry.”
Congressional Members from across California supported the efforts before the Appropriations Committee as did numerous local and statewide leaders and business organizations. Statewide leaders urging Appropriators for project funding include California Governor Jerry Brown, Senate Pro Tem Darryl Steinberg, then Assembly Speaker John Perez, Speaker Toni Atkins and Assembly Minority Leader Connie Conway. Local leaders supporting the project included the Imperial County Board of Supervisors and mayors from local municipalities.
“Imperial County applauds Congressman Vargas for his leadership and bipartisan efforts in advancing much-needed funding for the downtown Calexico Port of Entry,” said Chairman John Renison of the Imperial County Board of Supervisors. “We are pleased with the continued progress on this important issue and remain united in our efforts to ensure the Port of Entry becomes a reality. This funding will enhance security, reduce vehicle pollution, and ensure a more efficient border where both countries will be able to reap economic benefits by cross-border travelers.”
Numerous business and trade organizations have demonstrated an outpouring of support for the project and continue to be active in efforts to obtain funding for the project’s completion. These organizations include the Imperial County Farm Bureau, Western Growers, Imperial County Economic Development Corporation and the Cali-Baja Binational Mega Region, to name a few.
If approved by Congress, GSA will receive funding to construct Phase 1 of the project which will consist of ten northbound POV inspection lanes, a headhouse, and sitework necessary to accommodate those facilities on the sloping site. Phase 2 will consist of the balance of the project including additional sitework, a pedestrian processing facility, administrative offices, five southbound POV inspection lanes, and six additional northbound POV inspection lanes.