House Republicans are planning to roll out their own plan to address the border crisis by Tuesday—and members say it won’t come anywhere near embracing President Obama’s $3.7 billion request for more funding.
Exact details of what Republicans will offer as an alternative have not been finalized, including the price tag it will carry, along with any policy proposals.
But in a closed conference meeting Tuesday morning, Speaker John Boehner told his House Republican colleagues that they needed to move quickly, so that at least the GOP-led House passes a plan before its August break.
It will then be up to Democrats in the Senate to decide whether to join Republicans in working out a two-chamber solution, several Republicans said of the strategy.
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul of Texas said Republicans are looking at a number of items as part of their plan. He said it will carry “a message of deterrence, look at more border-security measures, and more judges to process these cases more expeditiously.”
“And the National Guard will certainly be in our proposal,” he said. “We’re looking at all of those components.”
“No, it will not be the same as his,” McCaul added of any additional spending, as opposed to Obama’s $3.7 billion supplemental request to deal with the crisis. The amount of any new border funding is now being considered by the Appropriations Committee led by Harold Rogers of Kentucky.
But GOP conservatives such as Austin Scott of Georgia, said there is little appetite for the idea of “spending $4 billion when we’ve already appropriated money over and over on these issues and it hasn’t resolved the problem.”
During Tuesday’s closed-door meeting, Republicans also heard from Rep. Kay Granger of Texas and other members of the speaker’s special working group assigned to help come up with options for a House strategy to deal with the surge of unaccompanied minors to the U.S.-Mexico border.
The group had arrived back in Washington on Monday night after a weekend trip to Central America. Granger and others in the group did not yet provide specific recommendations, but follow-up meeting or “huddles” with lawmakers are expected through the week.
One of the group’s members, Rep. Steve Pearce of New Mexico, whose district lies along the U.S. Mexico border, said that one thing emphasized to them in their meetings in Central American is that leaders of those countries “want their children back—because this is their next generation.”
“We need to deal with this in humane way, we need to deal with it a compassionate way, but we also need to deal with it in a firm way,”Pearce said.
Several of the Republicans said they hope their plan, or parts of it, will ultimately receive support from the president and bipartisan support in Congress.
And there does seem already to be some bipartisan support for at least changing current law so that immigrant children at the border can be voluntarily and more swiftly returned to their home countries and families rather than held for deportation hearings, a process already allowed for undocumented young immigrants from Mexico and Canada.
“Some will join us,” predicted Scott of potential Democratic support for what the House Republicans plan to be introduced by Tuesday.
“I think you will see others grandstanding,” he said.
What We're Following See More »
According to the most recent Gallup poll, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are equally disliked. The poll, conducted between July 18 and July 25, shows both major party candidates for president are viewed favorably by 37 percent of respondents and unfavorably by 58 percent of respondents. This poll is bad news for Clinton, who has received better favorable and unfavorable ratings in nearly every poll over the last year.
The same day that Donald Trump encouraged Russia to hack the State Department and "find the 30,000 emails that are missing," the GOP nominee for vice president took a more serious approach. "If it is Russia and they are interfering in our elections, I can assure you both parties and the United States government will ensure there are serious consequences," Pence said in a statement. Trump's comments at a press conference this morning were rebuked by individuals across the political spectrum, while some on Trump's team, including prominent surrogate Newt Gingrich, have called his comments a "joke."
The Federal Open Market Committee today voted to leave interest rates alone, but "upgraded its assessment of the economy’s recent performance and said near-term risks to the outlook have diminished, effectively leaving the door open to raise rates later this year, possibly as early as September."
"Spurred by VP pick Mike Pence, a former congressman with close ties to many lawmakers, the Trump campaign in recent weeks has stepped up its courtship of wary Capitol Hill Republicans. And the efforts appear to be bearing fruit." Central to the charm offensive: invitations to more than a dozen "Senate and House members into his family’s private box for some power-schmoozing with him and his kids" during the Republican National Convention.
Donald Trump essentially encouraged more Russian espionage against Democrats in a press conference this morning. "Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” he said. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” That prompted Brendan Buck, spokesman for House Speaker Paul Ryan to say: “Russia is a global menace led by a devious thug. Putin should stay out of this election.”