House Republican leaders canceled a scheduled vote today on funding to address the influx of children at the U.S.-Mexico border after days of trying to line up votes from party members.
Party leaders had repeatedly adjusted the $659 million proposal in an effort to gain support from lawmakers aligned with the small-government Tea Party movement.
“We’ve got a caucus of widely disparate views, and it never really gelled for 218 on our side,” the number of votes needed to pass a bill in the House, said Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, a Kentucky Republican. He confirmed that the bill was dropped from today’s vote schedule
Congress is poised to leave Washington for a five-week break without enacting a bill to address the border crisis. The Senate yesterday advanced a $2.7 billion plan, still less than the $3.7 billion President Barack Obama requested. Republicans and Democrats also disagree about Republicans’ bid to change a law to speed the deportation of children at the border.
“We will continue to work on solutions to the border crisis,” House Speaker John Boehner and other Republican leaders said in a statement today in Washington. The statement didn’t say why leaders decided to pull the bill, H.R. 5230, from the floor.
About 57,000 unaccompanied children were apprehended at the border from Oct. 1, 2013, through June 15, double the total from the same time a year earlier. Most of the children are from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
Earlier today Boehner told voters, “In my view, doing something is better than nothing.”
Still, Representative Kerry Bentivolio, a Michigan Republican, said regarding the leaders’ plan, “I don’t really think it secures the border.”
“I’m not really interested in supporting it because I don’t think it does anything,” Bentivolio said.