Dissenting Vote on Border Funds Sought in House

Conservatives want a resolution saying President Obama has all the tools he needs to respond to the flood of undocumented immigrants.

WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 15: Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) listens during a news conference for the launch of the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus on Capitol Hill on September 15, 2011 in Washington, DC. Franks is a co-chair of the caucus, along with Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA). The bi-partisan caucus has attracted approximately 50 members. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
Rachel Roubein and Billy House
Add to Briefcase
Rachel Roubein Billy House
July 28, 2014, 6:15 p.m.

As a pre­requis­ite to any House ac­tion on emer­gency fund­ing for the bor­der crisis, some House con­ser­vat­ives are push­ing for a vote this week on a res­ol­u­tion de­clar­ing that Pres­id­ent Obama already has “the ne­ces­sary tools at his dis­pos­al” to ad­dress the flood of un­doc­u­mented minors ar­riv­ing from Cent­ral Amer­ica.

The ef­fort rep­res­ents clear evid­ence of con­tin­ued res­ist­ance with­in the Re­pub­lic­an Con­fer­ence to­ward ap­prov­ing any por­tion of Obama’s re­quest for $3.7 bil­lion to deal with the surge of im­mig­rants. Such a vote would en­able these law­makers to put on the re­cord their reas­ons for be­liev­ing the ad­min­is­tra­tion does not need sup­ple­ment­al ap­pro­pri­ations.

Wheth­er it would also provide polit­ic­al cov­er for them if they then turned around and voted to provide even a smal­ler amount is doubt­ful. There ap­pears to be no guar­an­tee of GOP un­an­im­ity be­hind a bill al­low­ing in­creased spend­ing, even if Speak­er John Boehner per­mits a vote on a res­ol­u­tion of dis­sent.

The Re­pub­lic­an man­euv­er­ing con­tin­ues as the House is sched­uled to ad­journ on Thursday for all of Au­gust and in­to early Septem­ber. As a res­ult, time is run­ning out for Boehner to de­cide wheth­er to try to pass a bill be­fore the break in re­sponse to Obama’s re­quest, wheth­er it would be an ef­fort real­ist­ic­ally de­signed to get through both cham­bers, and wheth­er he will need to rely on Demo­crat­ic votes to do so.

Re­pub­lic­an lead­ers on Monday night were fi­nal­iz­ing lan­guage on the bill, to be presen­ted to House Re­pub­lic­ans in a closed-door con­fer­ence on Tues­day morn­ing. But rather than provid­ing fund­ing through the end of this cal­en­dar year—as was un­der con­sid­er­a­tion last week—Ap­pro­pri­ations Com­mit­tee Chair­man Har­old Ro­gers said Monday that this ver­sion would re­quire the money provided to be used by Sept. 30.

He would not identi­fy the pre­cise amount of fund­ing in the plan, oth­er than to say it would be un­der $1 bil­lion and would be off­set by spend­ing cuts else­where in the fed­er­al budget. Some sources have in­dic­ated it will be much less than $1 bil­lion.

Re­gard­less, it is ex­pec­ted to be sig­ni­fic­antly less than the Demo­crat­ic-led Sen­ate’s $2.7 bil­lion plan—which the White House said on Monday the ad­min­is­tra­tion sup­ports—and would be a greatly scaled back ver­sion of the pres­id­ent’s ini­tial $3.7 bil­lion re­quest. That might not be a prob­lem for the ad­min­is­tra­tion: The Con­gres­sion­al Budget Of­fice has pro­jec­ted that even un­der Obama’s pro­pos­al, just $25 mil­lion would ac­tu­ally be spent through Septem­ber.

“I think this bill is a fair, even-handed, suf­fi­cient ap­proach to solve the prob­lem. What the Sen­ate does, we’ll have to wait and see,” said Ro­gers, adding he was op­tim­ist­ic it could pass the House.

Against this back­drop, some fisc­al con­ser­vat­ives who have op­posed any more spend­ing did not ap­pear to be back­ing off Monday on their in­sist­ence that they be able to make their case on the House floor. That was un­der­scored in ef­forts to get a vote on a res­ol­u­tion au­thored by Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ar­iz., and sent Monday to House lead­ers. A copy was ob­tained by Na­tion­al Journ­al.

That word­ing de­clares that, “Where­as the Pres­id­ent cur­rently has the ne­ces­sary tools at his dis­pos­al to solve the hu­man­it­ari­an crisis at the bor­der with ex­ist­ing fund­ing from Con­gress,” that “Now, there­fore be it re­solved: That the House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives agrees with the Pres­id­ent that there is an ac­tu­al hu­man­it­ari­an crisis on the bor­der that only un­der­scores the need to drop the polit­ics and fix our im­mig­ra­tion sys­tem once and for all.”

The res­ol­u­tion fur­ther calls on the pres­id­ent “to use the re­sources already at his dis­pos­al to gain cer­ti­fi­able con­trol of the bor­der.”

Among the courses of ac­tion re­com­men­ded in the res­ol­u­tion would be for the pres­id­ent to “cease re­leas­ing con­victed crim­in­al ali­ens from de­ten­tion,” be­gin “crack­ing down on fraud­u­lent asylum claims,” and be “giv­ing Bor­der Patrol agents ac­cess to fed­er­al lands where drug traf­fick­ers, hu­man smug­glers, and un­law­ful mi­grants hide.”

In ad­di­tion, the res­ol­u­tion ac­cuses the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion of hav­ing sent “a broad sig­nal to un­law­ful im­mig­rants that, once they enter the United States, they can re­main here in vi­ol­a­tion of the law without con­sequence.” It de­mands that Obama in­stead “send a clear mes­sage that those who are seek­ing to enter the United States il­leg­ally will be re­turned to their home coun­tries.”

The res­ol­u­tion says the House stands ready to work with the pres­id­ent so that these “calls to ac­tion are real­ized as ex­ped­i­tiously as pos­sible.”

Franks de­clined to com­ment on his res­ol­u­tion. But a seni­or GOP aide said the res­ol­u­tion has a clear pur­pose: “It should be a mat­ter of re­cord that even without any ad­di­tion­al fund­ing, Obama has the ne­ces­sary tools to be­gin stem­ming the flow of un­law­ful mi­grants.”

The aide ad­ded that many Re­pub­lic­ans ex­pressed their sup­port for such a vote in meet­ings last week of both the Re­pub­lic­an Study Com­mit­tee and the en­tire House Re­pub­lic­an Con­fer­ence.

What We're Following See More »
VENEZUELA, NORTH KOREA ADDED
White House Announces Enhanced Vetting for Eight Countries
29 minutes ago
WHY WE CARE
"President Trump is replacing his controversial travel ban with a targeted list of restrictions that will enhance vetting for nationals from eight countries, senior administration officials announced Sunday. The eight countries on the modified list of countries are Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen."

The officials say these states failed to comply with the U.S. information-sharing requirements that aim to make vetting processes stronger.

Source:
TRUMP SPEECH “AN ASSAULT ON OUR MOST CHERISHED RIGHT”
Every NFL Team Protests Trump in Some Way
29 minutes ago
THE LATEST

"Every team that played on Sunday participated in some form of demonstration" of President Trump's comments about players who kneel during the National Anthem. Some "players, coaches and executives ... stood together arm-in-arm along the sidelines" while "others sat, knelt or raised a fist" and some entire teams "stayed in the locker room or tunnel for the duration of the anthem." The Broncos' Von Miller, who knelt with 31 of his teammates, said, "We felt like President Trump's speech was an assault on our most cherished right—freedom of speech. So, collectively we felt like we had to do something before this game."

Source:
TUESDAY ADDRESS AT GEORGETOWN
Sessions to Address Campus Free Speech
29 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

"Trump isn't the only member of his administration fighting a culture war this week; his Attorney General Jeff Sessions will make a "free speech on campus address" on Tuesday at Georgetown University law school in D.C. It's going to get testy." Sessions will tell the students: "Whereas the American university was once the center of academic freedom — a place of robust debate, a forum for the competition of ideas — it is transforming into an echo chamber of political correctness and homogenous thought, a shelter for fragile egos."

Source:
FAR-RIGHT MAKES BIG GAINS
Merkel Wins Reelection but Party Loses Seats
29 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

"Angela Merkel will once again lead Germany, but her governing coalition is going to have to deal with the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which rode a wave of anti-immigrant anger to claim a sizable chunk of seats in the Parliament for the first time. ... AfD, a hard-right, anti-Islam group not even represented in parliament in 2013, has become the third largest party. That might mean big changes to the character of a parliament that, thanks to the long shadow cast by Germany’s Nazi past, was largely free of hardline nationalism. Elsewhere, the environmentalist Greens and classical liberal, centrist Free Democrats (FDP) both grew their share of the vote," at the expense of socialists and Merkel's Christian Democrats.

Source:
VOTE TO GO FORWARD
Collins, Cruz Appear to Oppose Health Bill
10 hours ago
THE LATEST

Republican opposition to the GOP health care bill swelled to near-fatal numbers Sunday as Sen. Susan Collins all but closed the door on supporting the last-ditch effort to scrap the Obama health care law and Sen. Ted Cruz said that "right now" he doesn't back it. White House legislative liaison Marc Short and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., one of the measure's sponsors, said Republicans would press ahead with a vote this week." Collins said she doesn't support the bill's cuts to Medicaid, while Cruz said it wouldn't do enough to lower premiums.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login