Divided House Abandons Vote on Border Bill

Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 02:42 PM

By Newsmax Wires

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The House has abandoned a vote on legislation to address the immigration crisis on the border after tea partyers withdrew their support in a dispute over a separate measure on deportations.

Speaker John Boehner issued a statement Thursday saying the House would continue to work on solutions to the crisis. His statement came shortly after the House postponed the vote on the final day before a five-week summer break.

"There are numerous steps the president can and should be taking right now, without the need for congressional action, to secure our borders and ensure these children are returned swiftly and safely to their countries," House Speaker John Boehner and other Republican leaders said in a statement. "We will continue to work on solutions to the border crisis and other challenges facing our country,"

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In a last-ditch effort to win support, House GOP leaders had agreed to a separate vote on a companion measure that would have blocked President Barack Obama from extending deportation relief to any more immigrants living here illegally.

Conservatives wanted a tougher measure.

Party leaders had repeatedly adjusted the $659 million proposal in an effort to gain support from lawmakers aligned with the small-government Tea Party movement.

“We’ve got a caucus of widely disparate views, and it never really gelled for 218 on our side,” the number of votes needed to pass a bill in the House, said Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, a Kentucky Republican. He confirmed that the bill was dropped from today’s vote schedule

Congress is poised to leave Washington for a five-week break without enacting a bill to address the border crisis. The Senate yesterday advanced a $2.7 billion plan, still less than the $3.7 billion President Barack Obama requested. Republicans and Democrats also disagree about Republicans’ bid to change a law to speed the deportation of children at the border.

About 57,000 unaccompanied children were apprehended at the border from Oct. 1, 2013, through June 15, double the total from the same time a year earlier. Most of the children are from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

Earlier today Boehner told voters, “In my view, doing something is better than nothing.”

Still, Representative Kerry Bentivolio, a Michigan Republican, said regarding the leaders’ plan, “I don’t really think it secures the border.”

“I’m not really interested in supporting it because I don’t think it does anything,” Bentivolio said.

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