Vote Notes: H.R. 2213, the Anti-Border Corruption Reauthorization Act
Common sense can be a mirage in Washington. It’s one of those things that you may see in the distance, but as you approach it, it seems to disappear.
This in large measure was the essence of the thinking behind this week’s vote in the House on H.R. 2213, the Anti-Border Corruption Reauthorization Act of 2017. The bill would help streamline the hiring process for the United States Customs and Border Protection Agency. I voted for this bill, which passed 282 to 137, because it’s a bipartisan, commonsense solution to a problem of the government’s own creation.
In short form, here is the problem this bill addressed. Customs and Border Patrol has not been able to hire enough agents on occasion because they could not clear security requirements on a timely basis. The catch is that these prospective employees had already done so! They were former members of the military or of law enforcement who had gone through polygraph tests and more...but federal requirements in this instance would require them to go through the whole process all over again.
Think about it. In life, we try and avoid doing things twice. It costs more. It takes more time. And both those commodities are precious.
Why not just do things once?
That’s what this bill did. It modified the Anti-Border Corruption Act of 2010, mandating that all applicants be subjected to a polygraph test so that people who had already done this in the military or law enforcement would not have to do this again. This bill gives the Customs and Border Protection Agency temporary authority to grant a waiver from the polygraph test requirement for federal, state, and local law enforcement officials, as well as members of the armed forces and veterans, who have already passed polygraph tests and background checks for their previous position.
I also think it’s important to note that, because this bill includes a built-in expiration date of five years, it can be considered a trial run, more or less. If it doesn’t work, we can simply let it expire. Let’s hope it does, though, because for all of the technological and physical barriers we construct along our nation’s borders, none of them mean much without an actual, well-trained human being there to stand watch. Therefore, I voted in favor of its passage