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Owens vows to prevent U.S. Homeland Security from charging border fees

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Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, today spoke out against charging travelers to cross U.S. borders after the Department of Homeland Security floated the idea in its proposed 2014 fiscal year budget.

“Imposing a fee to cross the border is a bad idea, plain and simple,” Mr. Owens said in a news release.“I represent a number of communities that depend on Canadian travelers and investment to support local businesses and job growth. Instead of adding an additional barrier for commerce, we should be taking more steps to ease the legitimate flow of people and goods between our two countries.”

In its budget submission, DHS proposes to complete a study — within nine months of enactment — “assessing the feasibility and cost relating to establishing and collecting a land border crossing fee for both land border pedestrians and passenger vehicles along the northern and southwest borders of the United States.”

Mr. Owens vowed to “explore all legislative options available to me to prevent this move in the months ahead.”

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