Despite the urgency of dealing with the tens of thousands of undocumented minors apprehended at the Mexican border, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has refused to lend Democratic support to a House bill authorizing $659 million to deal with the crisis.
President Obama originally asked for $3.7 billion to deal with the immigrant surge at the border, and the Democratic-controlled Senate earlier this week proposed a $2.7 billion emergency spending measure.
In the House, Speaker John Boehner has done so with a $659 million bill that adds $35 million more for the National Guard and facilitates deporting thousands of unaccompanied minors who have been flooding into the United States.
Reportedly, the House bill will expedite deportations of 500,000 illegals.
Boehner hoped to gain Republican votes with the slimmed-down package, but in so doing he lost Democratic backing.
"The worse the bill, the more votes on the Republican side," Pelosi said, vowing that Democrats would not offer any support for the Boehner-backed measure.
At a press conference on Thursday, the California Democrat stated, "Let me put it this way: The Democrats are not going to enable that bill to pass."
GOP leaders in the House were scrambling to round up 218 votes to approve the bill. But Sen. Ted Cruz met on Wednesday with tea party House members to sway them against the legislation. He argued that Boehner's bill did not defund President Obama's 2012 Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) executive order that ended the threat of deportation for some illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children.
Tea party members are angry at Obama in general for issuing executive orders, and don't trust him to deal adequately with the crisis.
Without tea party support, GOP leaders in the House were forced to scrap a vote on Thursday.
That's where Pelosi could have stepped in and provided enough Democratic votes to pass the House bill.
It was a mistake not to take that action.
It is a good start in helping to speed up deportation of many of the undocumented minors in U.S. custody.
The quicker this law passes, the sooner this crisis will end.
Pelosi expresses concern about the fate of those children, yet she spurns the House bill, saying it is "unjust and inhumane" for Republicans not to approve sweeping changes in immigration law.
I believe the House should support the bill, or a revised version of the measure, so House leaders can meet with Senate Democrats to hammer out a compromise.
Now is not the time to play politics, not with some 57,000 undocumented children detained between Oct. 1, 2013, and June 15.
How and why they got there remains a mystery, and should be the subject of a congressional investigation later.
But it is imperative for the United States to stop the flow of minors entering the country.
Obama has vowed quick deportation of the illegals. Congress should test his resolve before adjourning for a five-week recess, and pass a border bill now.
Christopher Ruddy is CEO and editor of Newsmax Media Inc. Read more Christopher Ruddy Insider articles — Click Here Now.
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