Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 7, 2016

$659 Million Border Bill Planned by GOP (Updated) (Video)

Rogers, left, said funding for Israel and wildfires would not be in the GOP's border bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rogers, center, said funding for Israel and wildfires would not be in the GOP’s border bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 11:17 a.m. | Republicans hope to pass $659 million in supplemental spending for the border crisis before leaving for the August recess, Speaker John A. Boehner said after a GOP conference meeting Tuesday.

The Ohio Republican said the House will “attempt to move this bill” on Thursday and said he anticipated the measure would have “sufficient support,” but noted there is still “a little more work to do to” to shore up the votes.

Two-thirds of the funding will be for border security, with $40 million going to prevention and $197 million going to humanitarian assistance, according to a GOP aide. It will run through Sept. 30.

The bill is far smaller than the $3.7 billion President Barack Obama sought for border security alone.

The Senate plans to vote on a $3.6 billion supplemental package that would include $2.7 billion for border security, as well as $615 million for wildfires and $225 million for Israel’s Iron Dome system.

Speaking with reporters outside the conference meeting, House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., said the chamber would consider Iron Dome funding separately, hopefully before leaving for August recess, but he said time is running short.

“It’ll probably come later,” he conceded, adding that while there is also a need to address the wildfire component, there isn’t an “urgency” to do so.

Optimism has grown that the House could pass a border funding bill since last week, when a GOP working group chaired by Texas Republican Kay Granger unveiled a set of policy recommendations and members initially bristled at the menu of options to stem the tide of the child migrant border surge. Any House bill that passed would be vulnerable to dilution in the Senate, critics argued, with many saying they would hold out from voting on any legislation at all tied to the immigration debate. Some added they only would vote “yes” if the bill contained language requiring the White House to end its 2012 program granting stays of deportations to young people brought to the country illegally by their parents.

That provision, deemed too much of a “poison pill,” will not be included, sources confirmed. The House bill, unlike the Senate’s version, will contain changes to a 2008 trafficking law that would make it easier for children to be returned back to their home countries rather than await deportation proceedings.

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., suggested he was unimpressed on his way out of the conference meeting Tuesday morning.

“It’s got some logistical nightmares,” said Gosar, adding that “close to 20″ of his colleagues stood up at the meeting to express “reservations” about the proposal.

With 234 Republicans, GOP leaders likely can’t afford to lose more than 20 members if they want the bill to pass. Some Democrats are expected to join Republicans, with Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, serving as an unofficial liaison between the GOP and his moderate colleagues who are willing to support legislation that contains the controversial changes to the 2008 law.

But Democratic leadership is likely to whip hard against the Republican bill that they say doesn’t include enough money or sufficient protections for unaccompanied immigrant minors apprehended at the border, and there is no way to predict how many Democrats can be relied on to assist in passage.

The White House also has yet to weigh in on whether President Barack Obama would sign the House bill.

Matt Fuller, Tamar Hallerman and Emily Ethridge contributed to this report.



Pelosi: Don’t Tack Expedited Deportations to Border Bill (Video)

HSS: Ignoring Border Crisis is Not an Option for Congress (Video)

The Border Supplemental and ‘the Height of Irresponsibility’

Boehner Puts Onus on Democrats for Tenuous State of Border Bill

The Other Side of the Border: CQ Roll Call’s Special Report from Guatemala

President’s Party Asks Why He’s Avoiding the Border

Obama ‘Happy to Consider’ Sending National Guard to Border to get Votes on Supplemental

A Tale of Two Congressional Visits to the Southwest Border

Obama Asking Congress for $4.3 Billion for Border Crisis, Wildfires

Alone, Illegal and Underage: The Child Migrant Crisis

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  • Truth Happens

    Only a handful can deal with Harry Reed. Will be surprised if it passes.

  • Bob Viering

    Funding for eight weeks to solve a crisis years in the making is ludicrous. What happens at Sept. 30th? More inane debate and finger pointing right ahead of mid-term elections. When will Congress actually solve something and stop constantly looking for political advantage as if that is their real job? At least the Democratic proposal is for longer term solution which is what it will take in reality for the problem to be solved.

    • ggm281

      Additional funding should be included into a budget for 2015. FY 2015 starts Oct. 1.

    • Layla

      Funny, I don’t think the American people are happy with either, but you’ll find that out in November. You don’t get to pick and choose which laws you will enforce and which you won’t.

      • Bob Viering

        Neither the coming election nor any one single election is a referendum for one party or another. With respect for the “lawlessness” argument that is required to be used by conservatives, the executive branch has a certain amount of prosecutorial latitude. Given a limited amount of resources agencies have, they are forced to make value judgments all the time where to put their resources. This has been the case for as long as either one of has been alive. Republicans would be far better served to put out a message about what they believe should be done instead of constant parroting of talk radio hype.

        • Layla

          Those of us living in border states have known for decades that our borders are not secure. These states have been all but ruined by the lack of enforcement coming from several administrations and Congress.

          Now we have an administration openly bringing it on in the name of more revenue at a time with the highest unemployment since the great depression.


    • opinionated1234

      On September 30th, we re-evaluate the situation! Giving the President huge amounts of money hasn’t helped….look at the border……It is one year sing eht

  • Samsara

    They cut DOD funding to do this Band-Aid. GOP loves the troops.

    • Layla

      I’ve been a member of “the troops” and I’ll take GOP support any day. Beats the hell out of the alternative. Obama was doing his best to ignore the situation.

  • Layla

    I wonder how many Members have townhalls scheduled during the recess? Few, if any, I’d venture to guess.

  • markinla

    Another attempt by Republicans to sneak an amnesty past the people and blame it on the Democrats. Won’t work Boehner.

  • Kar

    What the US Congress doing to US citizens is slow death with illegal people (literally) and making us pay for it.. Congress wants more money? More unemployment for Americans when you let the illegals in. So it’s us legal citizens against illegals and those traitors in Congress who want Amnesty, workpermitting and Obama should not have any Amnesty or any more money for anything connected to illegal immigration. Spend the money instead and deport. Do not give Obama administration a penny until he agrees no more Amnesty in any of it’s many forms.

    From 2000 to 2014 the working-age, native-born population increased by 16.8 million, yet the number employed fell by 0.1 million. The number of working-age immigrants increased and. American family income down.
    Instead of the sob stories of illegals please let us s follow a family who lost member of family because of an illegal because of murder. There are plenty of tragedies caused by illegal immigrants who did murder. Please repeat about the families who had breadwinner loose job (for example) as a house roofer earning a middle class income. Industry of roofing is now gone to illegals. Former American citizen roofer is now on poverty wages. Vote out Dems and Repubicans who want more money to border surgers . Money should go to deportation and secure border with no bill attached to it. I like House bill that says no more Executive Amnesties by Obama or other amnesties in many forms

  • 2formetoo

    BUT will this bill go to conference w/ the Senate word has it that McCain is sharping his pencil!!!

  • Connor Vlakancic

    The elected members of Congress that failed to fully consider the laws they produce consequences on America’s taxpayers and electorate. They get their fat paychecks for their incompetence!

    William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Action Act – H.R.7311
    (Dec. 10, 2008)

    How did a law aimed at sex traffickers result in Central American kids coming here?

    Not in my backyard: Communities protest surge of immigrant kids.

    What do legal immigrant people who followed the multiple years of legal immigrant process think of these instant-entry border jumpers?
    Fill in your answer:____________________________________…

  • gun_nut

    The real threat is Boehner. He is done as Speaker, and will likely betray us by taking this to conference with the Senate amnesty bill. He is entirely owned by the Chamber of Crony Corporatism.

    • Layla

      They are ALL owned by the Chamber of Cronyism.

  • opinionated1234

    There were 9,000,000 Million American jobs that went to illegal immigrants in 2013!

    This figure is documented by the government! When we have 93 Million Americans out of work, employers are giving American jobs to illegals because the work for less money and the President has sweetened the pot and told employers if they hire illegals they won’t have to give them insurance benefits because Americans will pay for them!!! how dumb are we???

    Microsoft is going to lay off 18,000 American workers and asking at the same time when we are going to sign immigration reform……NEVER!!!

    WHY would we want to bring in more people to replace ourselves.? These aren’t just farm jobs like they want us to believe……they are computer tech jobs, construction jobs, other technician jobs and manufacturing jobs. They are hiring foreign college students when our own college grads can’t get a job! they are hiring illegals and laying off people who have had jobs for 25 years! They are not hiring Military people and vets! ENOUGH! IT NEEDS TO STOP!

    • Layla

      Get this out there on social media, and make sure it gets to all and then ask them to share it.

      This ENDS in November.

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