Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 13, 2016

The Border Supplemental and ‘the Height of Irresponsibility’

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., speaks during the Third Way discussion on "the imperative for Congress to keep working toward the goal of long-term fiscal sustainability" held in the Columbus Room at Union Station in Washington on Monday, March 24, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Hoyer said there should be no debate over caring for the migrant children detained on the Texas border. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the August recess fast approaching and emergency funding to deal with the border crisis seemingly no closer to passage than it was a week ago, Democrats and Republicans are firing up a new round of the blame game.

Shortly after Speaker John A. Boehner pointed the finger at the White House and congressional Democrats for the lack of action on a spending package to address the sharp rise of unaccompanied minors crossing the border, Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer redirected the blame right back at Republicans.

“I think it would be the height of irresponsibility to leave without addressing this humanitarian issue,” Hoyer said Tuesday during his weekly pen-and-pad briefing with reporters.

The Maryland Democrat went on to say the supplemental funding request isn’t a political issue — though, “there are political questions involved,” Hoyer admitted — but he said there should be no debate that the United States has a responsibility to care for those children “who are in our custody at this point in time.”

“We would expect no less of any other country, and certainly we ought to expect no less of ourselves,” Hoyer said.

Much of the debate seems to center around revisions to a 2008 law on human trafficking. Republicans want to change the law to expedite deporting the children. Democrats, by and large, are adverse to the idea.

With neither side looking likely to budge soon, action on the supplemental could come down to the wire before the August recess.

The White House proposed a $3.7 billion package, but Republicans look poised to offer significantly less — and it’s an open question whether revisions to the 2008 law would be in the House proposal. Boehner seems to favor including changes, while many Democrats are pushing for a “clean” border bill.

Either way, time is running out before lawmakers return to their districts for more than a month.



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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  • Brenda Huddleston

    Can anyone tell me why the Democrats are against revising the 218 to expedite the passage of these children through the court system?

  • MJMann

    My best guess it’s because any change to the 2008 law would be forward looking (applied to future child immigrants) not retro-active (children already in custody).

  • Yonatan YONATAN

    THE AMERICAN TAX PAYERS AND CITIZENS, ARE THE TRUE LOSERS IN ALL OF THIS.. Sadly, there STILL are more than three million unemployed workers STILL without an extension of benefits since late last December. For more than seven months, both political parties have played party politics, and have ignored and rejected passing the extension bill, leaving these millions of families in financial ruin and deep debt. Meanwhile, Billions of dollars are going to illegal migrants and to the Ukraine, While our own citizens are having to apply for food stamps & public assistance, and Medicaid. We’re asked to send our sons & daughters off to war, but yet not to expect help from our government. This is scandalous that we’re STILL without a retro extension bill passed in the senate. Why doesn’t our own citizens deserve the same attention and action that these other countries get?

  • 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(12/10/08)

    Rep. Stenny Hoyer (Maryland-Dem) voted “NO” (no=192 but Aye=225)

  • TheGoodGuy

    Does not matter what side you are on… going on vacation leaving unfinished business would get you fired anywhere else.

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