The House voted Tuesday to ease more than a dozen environmental rules for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents, to make it easier for them to patrol federally owned border land.
The provision was one of several in a land use bill that was made up of 14 different bills, some from Republicans, some from Democrats. The border agent provision was easily the most controversial, but despite Democratic opposition, the House approved the Conservation and Economic Growth Act, H.R. 2578, in a 232-188 vote.
The measure was ultimately supported by 16 Democrats in the final vote; 19 Republicans voted against it.
Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) was the chief defender of the border provisions, and argued, as he has in the past, that current environmental rules prohibit CBP agents from accessing huge areas of land that enjoys federal protections.