WASHINGTON, July 31, 2014 – The House of Representatives on Thursday postponed its August recess by one day, after Republican leaders pulled their $659 million border security bill when it became apparent it didn’t have enough votes to pass.
Some GOP lawmakers, with the backing of the tea party, as well as Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Jeff Sessions of Alabama, refused to support the legislation, saying it wouldn’t do enough to stop the flow of migrants from Central America and Mexico across the southern border. This angered a number of Republicans who didn’t want to go back to their districts and explain why they hadn’t tackled legislation to address the issue.
Democrats are solidly opposed to the GOP bill, which is more than $3 billion short of what President Obama requested to handle the crisis.
Lawmakers, who had been expecting to begin a five-week recess Thursday afternoon, frantically tried to reschedule flights home.
House Republicans met Thursday afternoon and planned another conference Friday morning to see if they can figure out their next step.
House Speaker John Boehner’s only comment on leaving the afternoon meeting was that the leadership was “working with our members.” Californian Darrell Issa, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said, “We’ll stay until we vote.”
It’s not clear what would happen to a House border bill if one were to pass. The Senate, where Democrats are in control, is considering a $2.7 billion measure. Senators are also planning on leaving for the August recess.
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