Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 14, 2016

One Day Closer to Recess and Still No House Border Funding Bill

House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers of Kentucky. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers of Kentucky. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House wrapped up Wednesday, one day closer to the August recess and still with no clear indication of when Republicans will unveil their response to President Barack Obama’s emergency funding request for $3.7 billion for the Texas border crisis.

But lawmakers insisted the framework for their border funding bill is beginning to crystallize.

Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., confirmed that the plan was still to move through the chamber a single package providing both policy changes and financial assistance.

“We’re ready on the money part,” Rogers told reporters. “We’ve got to craft it, we’ve got to get it scored and do all of those things, but as soon as we get the final policy inserts, we can go pretty quick.”

Rogers would not divulge, however, how much money the committee plans to allocate, which could be a sticking point for the fiscal conservative contingent of the House Republican Conference. Whatever the sum may be, however, it is certain to be lower than the White House’s original $3.7 billion.

He also wouldn’t say whether any decisions had been made regarding an offset — also a deal-breaker for many members on the far right — or if funds would be directed to the Department of Health and Human Services to house unaccompanied minors apprehended at the border.

“We’re scrubbing the numbers, we’re looking for matters that need to be taken care of immediately and what can be carried under the regular process of passing appropriations bills for 2015, which we’re involved in right now,” Rogers said.

Part of the standstill, Rogers continued, was due to the special GOP working group tasked with making policy recommendations to stem the border crisis. On Wednesday afternoon, the task force’s chairwoman, Texas Republican Kay Granger, acknowledged that the submission of her group’s report was taking longer than anticipated.

“I think I made two commitments, and I haven’t held either one of them, so I don’t want to make anymore,” Granger, also an appropriator, said with a laugh. “But we want to vote on a bill before we leave for August. We think that’s very important.”

In a separate hallway interview with reporters, working group member and appropriator Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., suggested that the group had completed its formal list of policy recommendations by saying, “We’re done.”

Republicans might also be negotiating behind closed doors as to what policy riders they can put into their legislative package that would not alienate too large a swath of Democrats, whom they might need to rely on for votes if the measure doesn’t go far enough to satisfy a sufficient number of their own members.

Rogers reiterated on Wednesday that changes to a 2008 trafficking law to make it easier to more quickly deport unaccompanied minors must be included and were “nonnegotiable,” while more and more Democrats began to signal they won’t support any border funding bill that includes such changes.



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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    The republican and democrats have both failed the more than three million unemployed families who are still without an unemployment extension since late last December. While both political parties walked away from the issue, these millions of families were left in financial ruin and deep poverty. Over the past seven months these families have lost much of what they have ever worked for. while billions of dollars were approved for the Ukraine, and more to support illegals at the border, nothing was given to these families so desperately in need. Where is the compassion and common decency for these unemployed?

    • Layla

      Nearly 100 MILLION FAMILIES, Yonatan.

  • Nunaya Biddness III

    Obama refuses to enforce our laws now…So how will passign another law change anything? Before congress gives him a dime Obama needs to do his job and enforce our laws. Shouldn’t our President and Representatives be representing our interests, doing whats best for Americans, and working to help American workers and families rather than illegals? At what point did the willingness of foreign nationals to break our laws and enter our nation without our consent to abuse our kindness create a debt American Workers and Families must pay?

    The ‘Victim’ here is the American People; Not the illegal Immigrants. It is the American working class, the American Middle Class and Working poor of All Colors who are forced to pay the bill for this unchecked invasion of Illegals into our nation, our neighborhoods, hospitals, schools and workplaces. What do we owe the thief that sneaks into our house? Do we owe them a bed, a meal, welfare check and health care? When will Obama do whats best for Americans?

    No one who supports Amnesty for Illegals can be allowed to say they support the American Taxpayer, Middle Class, Worker’s and Families because they don’t. It is the American Middle Class and Working poor who are harmed most by Illegal Immigration; We need to whats right for Americans. We need to take care of our own.

  • ShadrachSmith

    Children at the Border: and the Heartless Republicans who hate them
    is the title of Obama’s latest, and greatest, political street-theater production. It will run for three years and its purpose is to “frame” Republicans as heartless so that no Republican can be elected president in ’16.

    This story will last for years, every MSM anchor will feature a Democrats calling Republicans “heartless”, then the anchor will smile and nod approvingly. That is Obama’s plan in all its artistic simplicity. Street theater, with controlled reviews, can control public opinion. This obviously hurts some elected Democrats, but those are simply collateral damage to the big plan. Give every local news anchor a daily opportunity to quote somebody calling Republicans “heartless”, then smile and nod.

    We now know the central Democrat campaign theme from here to ’16: Heartless Republicans. Look to see it often in a 218 article near you :-)

    • Layla

      The “Plan” is as shallow as this administration.


    the government seems to have forgotten all about the three million unemployed families that are still without an unemployment extension since late last December. while the congress approved billions of dollars for the Ukraine, and approved the Koch brothers oil pipeline bill, the unemployment extension bill was refused passage by the republican senate. both political parties have failed these unemployed families, and left them in financial ruin and deep poverty.

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