Freshman U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., a top target for Democrats in November, has gotten a border security bill that he introduced earlier this month across the finish line in the U.S. House.
At the start of the month, Mast brought out the “Secure Border Communications Act” which, his office insists, will “strengthen interagency border security communication and communication within U.S. Customs and Border Protection” and “improves communication technology for officers and agents of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, ensuring that they are equipped with secure radios or other two-way communication devices.”
After getting it through the U.S. House Ways and Means and the Homeland Security Committee, the House passed the bill on voice vote on Tuesday. With the clock ticking until the end of session, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. Senate.
“We are in the midst of a war on terror and continue to be the target of radicals who want to do our country harm. Ensuring we know who is entering our country and why they are here is essential to national security,” Mast said on Tuesday night. “Beyond the threat of terrorism, securing our border is vitally important to preventing drug and human trafficking. Improving communication is a critical component of this mission.”
Mast is considered a top target for Democrats in November as they look to flip the House. Democrats at the national level, including the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), are backing attorney Lauren Baer who reeled in the endorsements of former Vice President Joe Biden and former U.S. Sec. of State John Kerry in recent days.
In recent years, the seat has swung back and forth with Democrat Patrick Murphy beating then U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., in 2012 and holding off former state Rep. Carl Domino two years later. When Murphy left the seat to run for the Senate, Mast won the open race and swung the seat back to the GOP.
Kevin Derby can be reached at Kevin.Derby@floridadaily.com.