Vote on border funding bill possible this week

A supplemental bill to fund border operations, including more money to deal with the crush of illegal alien children, may get a vote this week in the House.

Republicans say that it will be considerably less than the $3.7 billion requested by President Obama, and will include changes in the 2008 law that grants children from Central America a hearing before deporting them.

The Hill:

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) late last week declined to provide reporters with a specific dollar figure, but confirmed it was "significantly less" than the Obama administration's original request of $3.7 billion. Republicans are further expected to demand policy changes, such as amending a 2008 trafficking law in order to deport child migrants faster, in any measure

It’s unclear if Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his deputies will be able to get the votes to pass a bill. Many Democrats oppose changing to the 2008 law due to concerns it would limit due process. And a significant number of conservative House Republicans are wary of providing the administration with any new money in the first place.

Texas Rep. Kay Granger is heading up a working group that is developing a broad based plan to deal with the border crisis. Their recommendations will likely form the basis of legislation to be introduced in the next few days:

In a statement released Friday evening, Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) said the group had made “extraordinary progress in a short amount of time” and was preparing “sensible, humane, but tough recommendations” on the border crisis.

The group is likely to recommend revising a 2008 anti-trafficking law to effectively speed up deportations of the migrant children, boosting National Guard troops at the border, and bolstering border-security measures, among other provisions.

“This is not a political problem,” she said. “This is an urgent crisis that must be dealt with immediately.”

“The working group believes there are steps that can be taken to stop individuals, mostly women and children, from making the horrific trip from Central America to our southern border,” she continued. “Additionally, we must ensure that our border is secure and that unaccompanied minors are repatriated back to their home country in a swift and humane way, while ensuring proper protections are in place for the children who need them.”

While the group has lagged in releasing its plan, some of its members have released their own proposals. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) has unveiled an asylum measure. And Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) dropped a bill that, in principle, is similar to what the group is poised to recommend — treating children from Central America the same as minors from Mexico, who can be sent home more quickly.

“I appreciate the legislative solutions being introduced by members of the working group and look forward to incorporating many of their ideas in our recommendations,” Granger said.

Opposition from right and left may doom the legislation before there's even a vote. Rep. Goodlatte's asylum bill is desperately needed since, according to Breitbart, it."stops many of the Administration’s policies that have caused this crisis, such as exploiting weak asylum standards to approve baseless claims and stringent environmental policies that prevent Border Patrol agents from doing their job of securing the border." According to Homeland Security, up to 70% of asylum claims are fraudulent.
Boehner may yet be able to cobble together a coalition to pass the bill. But Harry Reid has already said he won't call for a vote on any bill that changes the 2008 law so, essentially, we're back to square one.



If you experience technical problems, please write to