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February 8th, 2013
Grijalva Introduces Package of Bills to Improve Border Commerce, Create Jobs, Protect Border-Area Public Lands From Encroachment

Washington, D.C.– Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva introduced a package of bills earlier this week that, taken together, represent his vision for regional job creation and land conservation. Grijalva is returning to Washington today from the Democratic Caucus retreat in Virginia, where he has already begun promoting the package with colleagues.

The package includes the following. Further details are available on request.

H.R.545, Prioritize Emergency Job Creation Act

Rep. Grijalva first introduced this bill in 2011. It allows Congress to designate funds spent on creating jobs as emergency spending not subject to the Budget Control Act’s arbitrary spending caps. You can learn more about the negative impacts of the Budget Control Act on job creation at

H.R.546, Promoting Partnership to Transform Opportunities Act

First introduced in the last Congress, this bill creates a competitive grant program at the Department of Labor through the Workforce Investment Act to support job training programs through minority-serving institutions and community-based organizations. The initiative seeks to put more Americans to work, especially those who have historically received less financial and economic assistance in finding good jobs.

H.R.547, Border Security and Responsibility Act

First introduced in the 110th Congress, this bill strikes an appropriate balance between a growing law enforcement presence on the Southwestern border and efforts to conserve our protected lands and wildlife, including national treasures such as Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge. A recent Government Accountability Office report found that overall border security status is not affected by land management laws, and that curtailing those laws would have no significant law enforcement impact. You can read the report at

H.R.548, Border Infrastructure and Jobs Act

First introduced in the last Congress, this bill includes several features.

–          It directs the Secretary of Commerce to establish a grants program to develop and expand trusted shipper programs for small- and medium-sized businesses to facilitate border commerce.

–          It funds new border ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border and renewable energy retrofits at new and existing ports; increases funding to the International Boundary and Water Commission for planning, management, and construction of the International Outfall Interceptor and the Nogales Wash Channel; increases Federal Highway Administration funding to improve transportation and infrastructure along the border; and funds Department of Homeland Security construction of integrated fixed towers, remote video cameras, hand-held devices, mobile systems, and other security technologies in Arizona.

–          It requires the DHS secretary to increase the number of full-time active duty Customs and Border Protection officers, agriculture specialists, and border security support personnel at ports of entry, with priority in the Tucson Sector; and requires the secretary to develop and update annually a Southwest Border Strategy for Security and Prosperity to facilitate trade and maintain operational control over such ports of entry.

–          It directs the Small Business Administration to establish a grants program to develop and revitalize small businesses located along the border.

–          It prohibits an executive agency from awarding a contract unless 30% of the labor for the performance of the contract is performed by a local subcontractor, with exceptions.

Rep. Grijalva will be back in Washington at approximately 2:00 p.m. Eastern time today.

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