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Higgins bill would block border fee

WASHINGTON – In the legislative equivalent of driving a stake through the heart of a zombie, Rep. Brian Higgins on Wednesday proposed a bill that would bar the federal government from ever charging an entry fee at the nation’s land border crossings.

Two years after winning congressional approval of an amendment blocking the federal government from even studying the idea of such a fee, Higgins, D-Buffalo, announced that he is introducing legislation that would prohibit such fees from ever being collected.

“Canadian passengers entering the United States support tourism, entertainment, retail, athletics and other economic drivers,” Higgins said. “The implementation of a fee would only create roadblocks to opportunity in our community and our country, and should be completely off the table.”

The bill is essentially a preemptive strike aimed at blocking any future administration from reviving the idea of a border fee.

Higgins introduced the “Promoting Border Commerce and Travel Act” along with Rep. Richard Hanna, R-Barneveld; Rep. Richard Nolan, D-Minn., and Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash.