By Cristina Marcos - 07/31/14 04:09 PM EDT
House Republicans plan to delay their August recess to stay in Washington until they have enough votes to pass a bill responding to the border crisis.
GOP leaders pulled legislation from the schedule Thursday after it became clear the votes weren’t there to pass a $659 million supplemental funding bill.
But just as it appeared the conference would leave town for a five-week recess having done nothing to respond to the crisis, Republicans held a closed-door conference meeting and emerged staying they would extend their workweek to try to get something done.
“We'll stay until we vote,” House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said after the meeting.
Issa said no concrete vote is planned yet. But he said House members could vote on the issue again later Thursday or even Friday.
The House was originally set to adjourn for recess Thursday afternoon, but the derailed vote on the border package stalled those plans.
GOP leaders face a tall order in moving the bill unless they make changes to it.
A significant number of Republicans had balked at sending any money to the White House for the border, and Democrats were generally united in opposing the measure.
Even a late decision by leaders to set up a separate vote to prevent President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program from being expanded didn't save the funding bill.
But members are wary of leaving town having done nothing, knowing they will come under attack.
Indeed, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) said Congress shouldn’t start its recess until the “job is completed” on the border crisis.
The Republican governor of the state at the heart of the crisis said in a statement it was “beyond belief” that Congress is abandoning its post while people are suffering on the border.
“While Texas has taken what steps it can to mitigate the damage caused by a porous border, Congress and the President have a duty to address our border security issues without further delay. Congress should not go into recess until the job is completed,” he said in a statement.
Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) said the inability of the House to pass a measure would make it hard for members to face their constituents over the recess.
“I'm going to have some 'splainin' to do,” Farenthold said before it became clear the House would not immediately leave town.