GOP talks backing half of Obama border request
By: Jake Sherman and Seung Min Kim
July 15, 2014 09:11 AM EDT
Senior House Republicans are privately discussing a bill that would provide roughly half of the $3.7 billion President Barack Obama requested to combat an influx of migrants at the Texas border, according to multiple sources involved in the discussions.
No final decisions have been made, but the GOP legislation is also likely to include several policy changes, including revising a 2008 immigration law, which made it tougher to deport children from countries other than Mexico or Canada. The Obama administration has expressed openness to such a provision, though it worries some congressional Democrats.
House Republicans are also discussing language that would make it easier for border patrol agents to pursue illegal migrants at the border. The Obama administration designated roughly 500,000 acres of land near the border as a national monument, which the GOP says hampers law enforcement.
These discussions are ongoing, and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) along with incoming Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) are looking to Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) for counsel. Granger, a member of the Appropriations Committee, leads a GOP border taskforce, and is expected to update House Republicans Tuesday morning on her work.
Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said Monday evening his panel is “combing through” Obama’s request.
The border bill is one piece of a suddenly complex July schedule for the House. The chamber will vote on a patch to the highway trust fund this week, and is considering passing a stop-gap spending bill to prevent a shutdown in the fall before leaving for August recess. The Export-Import Bank will expire at the end of September and the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act must also be updated.
Boehner’s chamber will also pass a resolution to sue President Barack Obama for what they consider a misuse of his executive authority.