WASHINGTON, Aug. 1, 2014 – Republican leaders in the House of Representatives Friday night finally found enough votes to get a border security bill passed, but not until they postponed the start of their August recess and well after senators left on their summer break, leaving the legislation with nowhere to go.
The 223-189 vote came after 8 p.m. eastern time, following a day of arm-twisting, sweet-talking and GOP conferencing, to make sure members could show their constituents they had done their part in trying to stem the surge of children from Central America across the southern border.
The bill is a bit more expensive than the measure that House Speaker John Boehner pulled yesterday when it became clear that it was opposed by lawmaker allied with the Tea Party and spurred on by Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas. The $659 million bill didn’t do enough to secure the border or take steps to send the migrants back to their home countries, they said.
The new bill reportedly will cost $694 million, with $35 million going to governors to help pay for National Guard units that have been sent to the border. That’s still almost $3 billion less than President Obama requested to handle the crisis.
“House Republicans … are trying to pass the most extreme and unworkable version of a bill that they already know is going nowhere, that the Senate can’t pass,” Obama told reporters at the White House Friday afternoon. “They’re not even trying to solve the problem.”
House Democrats were solidly against the GOP bill. The Democratic-controlled Senate was considering a $2.7 billion measure before members left town for their vacation.
The House was also planning a separate vote on a measure that would restrict Obama’s power to protect some undocumented aliens from deportations.
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