House Republicans will take another shot at passing a bill to address the border crisis Friday, one day after House leaders were forced to pull the bill from the floor because it lacked enough GOP votes to pass.
The new version of the bill adds $35 million for states to deploy National Guard troops to the border, an attempt to bring on skeptical conservatives without losing too much support from mainstream members from both sides of the aisle. They’ll also vote on a second measure to defund the president’s deferred action program for children brought to the United States illegally.
Tea Party-affiliated Republicans had balked at passing the bill Thursday, complaining that the $659 million funding bill didn’t do enough to address the root causes of the border crisis. Those members – who were lobbied by Senate colleagues Jeff Sessions of Alabama and Ted Cruz of Texas – wanted to attach a measure that would prevent the president from issuing further executive orders extending legal status to some undocumented immigrants. After a late scramble for support, leaders cancelled the vote and moved to postpone the chamber’s recess until some kind of compromise could be drafted.
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By The Numbers: Our Do-Nothing Congress
Conservative holdouts like Reps. Michele Bachmann and Steve King left a morning meeting confident that the bill will pass, but even if it does – it won’t get any further than the U.S. House. The Senate recessed late Thursday after failing to pass its own version of border legislation, and the White House has threatened to veto the measure put forward in the House. Both chambers are expected to be on vacation until September.
What the vote would do is give rank-and-file members something to point to when asked by constituents what they’ve done to address the humanitarian crisis at the border. Moderates fumed Thursday that – if they left town without voting – they would be pilloried at home in the weeks before the November midterm elections.
- Carrie Dann and Frank Thorp