Both the Wyoming House and Senate have voted for budget amendments that would allow Governor Mark Gordon to contribute $2 million to help Texas with border enforcement along the U.S.-Mexican border.

The amendments were added on the second reading of a state budget bill in both houses on Monday afternoon. That bill faces a third reading on Wednesday before being finalized. The House and Senate must then agree on a final version to be sent to Governor Mark Gordon.

You can read the House Budget Amendment here, and the Senate version here. The budget bill faces a third and final reading in both houses on Wednesday.

Sen. Larry Hicks Makes Case For The Amendment

In a Senate debate on the amendment, Sponsor Larry Hicks [R-Carbon, Sweetwater counties], cited congressional testimony by FBI Director Christopher Wray in November. Hicks said Wray told the U.S. House homeland security committee that 1.8  million unknown persons " and rising numbers of persons on the terrorist watch list apprehended crossing the southern border." Hicks went on to say that Wray told the committee that "the national security consequences of the crisis have turned every state into a border state." Hicks said the situation amounts to an invasion of the United States.

Hicks said the $2 million could be used either as a direct payment to Texas, or to help support Wyoming efforts to secure the border, at Gordon's discretion.

Would That Money Be Better Spent Here In Wyoming?

But in arguing against the amendment, Senate President Ogden Driskill [R-Campbell, Crook, Weston counties] said that while he "wholeheartedly agrees with the author on every single point." But he went on to say "The question is, do we send two million dollars down there, and willy-nilly spend it, or do we spend two million dollars to reinforce our own problems?" Driskill referred to a recent shooting "a couple of blocks from the capitol," and said Wyoming money would be much better spent on Wyoming problems. He added that sending the money to Texas would achieve little. "A couple of million dollars is symbolic, in all truth."

The Senate voted 20-10 to approve the amendment. You can hear the Senate debate on the amendment in the attached audio file below.

Dog Training Program at the Wyoming Prison

Gallery Credit: Kolby Fedore, Townsquare Media