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November 03, 2015

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

(WASHINGTON) - Today, four key Democratic Members 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. Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI), Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Homeland Security Committee Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), and Ways and Means Committee Member Jim McDermott (D-WA) 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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Media contacts:
Kevin Parker (Levin), 202-226-3354
Adam Comis (Thompson), 202-225-9978
Ben Soskin (Roybal-Allard), 202-225-1766 
Daniel Rubin (McDermott), 202-225-3106