Rather than see the bill defeated, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) withdrew legislation Thursday, which would have addressed the U.S.-Mexico border crisis involving thousands of immigrant children.
This comes just before the August recess, which means no further legislation will be able to be voted on by Congress or reach the the president’s desk concerning the border issue until the House reconvenes in September.
The bill was going to be voted on party lines as Democrats almost universally opposed the bill. However, an estimated 20 House conservatives were said to be voting against their Republican allies, which would have resulted in the defeat of the legislation. Those Republicans who opposed the bill said, according to the Washington Post, “the proposal did not address the core issues,” and the scaled down $659 million price-tag was enough to solve the issue.
Originally, the proposed bill would have come with a price of $1.5 billion, which would have drawn some Democrats to the bill. This still fell short of the $2.7 billion House Democrats proposed, and the $3.7 billion the president asked for, but the few votes crossing the aisle would have helped ensure something was going to get done.
Instead, the House Republicans slimmed the bill down in hopes of getting more Republican support, but this ultimately drove the Democrats who would have voted with them away.
Even without full support though, leaders of the House Republicans released a joint statement, according to FOX News, saying the “situation shows the intense concern within our conference — and among the American people — about the need to ensure the security of our borders and the president’s refusal to faithfully execute our laws.”
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said he was disappointed at how quickly support for the bill eroded, but hoped this would put more pressure on President Obama to act on the issue. “In many ways, it was his actions and inactions that caused the crisis on the border,” said Rogers. “He has the authority and power to solve the problem forthwith.”
House Republicans released a statement, according to the New York Times, saying even though they did not vote on the bill, “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 Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) shifted the attention from the president back onto the House Republicans saying, “Because of their actions with this supplemental bill, they really have no standing to talk about meeting our moral obligation to have a humanitarian solution to the problem at the border.”