Border Patrol pay reform passes

border-patrol2The U.S. House of Representatives the Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act of 2014 on Wednesday. The passage of S. 1691 is considered a critical step in increasing border security.

Brandon Judd, NBPC National President, praised the House for passing this important legislation.

“Taxpayers want Congress to work together to save money, make government work better and strengthen our national security,” said Senator Jon Tester, chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee that oversees the federal workforce. “Our Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act represents the common-sense leadership that should happen every day, and I look forward to seeing the President sign it into law.”

Rep. Jason Chaffetz commented, “In addition to saving taxpayers upwards of $100 million annually, this legislation brings more consistency to those who risk their lives every day protecting the border. This new pay scale is a long term solution that will iron out the kinks of the current system through old-fashioned planning and time management. I applaud my colleagues in the House for passing this common-sense, bipartisan legislation.”

Rep. Beto O‘Rourke said, “There are more than 2,500 Border Patrol Agents in the El Paso sector. We ask these agents to put their lives on the line each day to secure our country’s borders but fail in our promise to provide financial certainty to the Agents and their families. S. 1691 would create a reliable pay system that more responsibly secures our border while saving tax payers more than $1 billion over 10 years. During a time of tight budgets, we need to use existing resources more efficiently and providing Agents with the tools they need to do their jobs is the key to keeping border communities safe. This bill accomplishes that goal.”

“Just this last weekend we were reminded how dangerous it is to be an Agent. Our thoughts and prayers are with our brother Agent from the Tucson Sector, who was brutally attacked near Ajo, Arizona, while protecting our border from drug smugglers. Pay Reform finally puts a pay system in place that honors the sacrifices Agents make so our nation, communities and families are safer.” Judd concluded.

Congressman Ron Barber said the legislation will create a more consistent and reliable salary system for Border Patrol agents – while saving taxpayers’ money. “This bill will bring certainty to our Border Patrol agents and their families who sacrifice so much for our safety every day.” Barber said. “We owe this to our Border Patrol agents who have dedicated their lives to ensure that our borders are secure.”

“Border Patrol agents thank Congressman Barber for taking the lead on this issue to make sure our agent pay is stable,” said Judd. “Congressman Barber is a great supporter of Border Patrol agents and we can’t thank him enough.”

Barber was an original cosponsor of the bipartisan legislation when it was introduced in the House in November 2013.

Last year DHS had a plan to furlough Border Patrol agents for one day every two weeks and also eliminate overtime for agents. That would have compromised border security efforts while reducing by up to 40 percent the take-home pay of agents on the Southwestern border.

Barber was a staunch critic of that proposal, saying it would threaten the security of Arizona and the nation. He met with Border Patrol agents and called on Janet Napolitano, then secretary of DHS, to find other ways of dealing with the sequestration cuts, which Barber has opposed.

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