President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday to thank U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder personally for his bill that would provide $5 billion for Trump’s border wall with Mexico.
The Kansas Republican, who chairs the powerful Homeland Security appropriations subcommittee, is running for re-election in a key swing district that Hillary Clinton narrowly won in 2016.
National Democrats have targeted Yoder’s seat to flip it from red to blue. Six Democrats are running to replace him.
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“Thank you to Congressman Kevin Yoder!” Trump tweeted. “He secured $5 BILLION for Border Security. Now we need Congress to support. Kevin has been strong on Crime, the Border, the 2nd Amendment, and he loves our Military and Vets. @RepKevinYoder has my full and total endorsement!”
But the bill is still far from becoming law.
“The legislation also includes $5 billion for physical barriers and associated technology along the U.S. southern border,” a statement from House appropriations committee said. “This amount provides for over 200 miles of new physical barrier construction.”
Yoder said in a statement that “this bill takes the largest steps in years toward finally fulfilling our promise to the American people to secure the border.”
“We add funding for more than 200 miles of physical barrier, hundreds of new immigration and customs enforcement agents, and state of the art technology that will give our law enforcement agencies the tools they need to keep us safe,” Yoder said.
The funding was called “wasteful” in a joint statement from House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey, a New York Democrat, and Homeland Security Subcommittee Ranking Member Lucille Roybal-Allard, a California Democrat.
“The inclusion of $5 billion for President Trump’s border wall in House Republicans’ Homeland Security bill is an extreme example of wasteful spending prompted by a seeming need to cater to the whims of President Trump,” the two Democrats said. “After the shame of the Trump family separation policy, this funding only further enables this administration’s obsession with cruel attacks on immigrants and their families.”
Trump’s tweet followed Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to the Kansas City area earlier this month to raise money for Yoder. A spokesman for Yoder did not immediately comment on the president’s tweet.