House Speaker John Boehner is lowering expectations on whether any border bill will pass in the wake of heavy criticism from conservatives like Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) and increasingly intransigent Democrats.
“Republicans have made clear that we support efforts to take care of these children, return them safely to families in their home countries, and secure the border,” Boehner said in a Tuesday press release. “As promised, our border working group, led by Rep. Kay Granger, has conducted an extensive review of the crisis, and will present recommendations to our conference this week. In addition, Chairman Rogers and the House Appropriations Committee have reviewed the administration’s supplemental request and will be presenting the results of that review. We look forward to reviewing the recommendations of our members, and charting a path forward.”
Boehner’s remarks that the group’s recommendations are subject to additional discussion and a chance for the GOP conference to chart a path forward suggest the speed at which the House border bill is moving through the chamber has slowed substantially.
Last Wednesday morning, Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), the leader of a working group of lawmakers appointed by Boehner, said her group’s recommendations would be released later that day. Ultimately, the group sent the substance of its recommendations to Boehner Thursday night. On Friday, Rep. John Carter (R-TX), a member of the group, said the proposals were being put into legislative form.
Now, on Tuesday morning, Boehner is saying the recommendations will be released “this week” and are subject to input from the GOP conference.
Notably, Boehner remains focused on amending a 2008 anti-human trafficking law that Sessions and Cruz argue is a distraction from the real cause of the border crisis and surge in illegal immigration: President Barack Obama’s executive orders granting to amnesty to illegal aliens, especially the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Boehner criticizes the White House–and many Congressional Democrats who are resisting changing that law.
“In order to resolve this crisis in a timely manner, however, the White House must engage both parties on constructive solutions,” Boehner said in his Tuesday release.
“After first supporting common-sense changes to the 2008 law that is making it more difficult to resolve this crisis, the White House backpedaled and failed to include those changes in its formal request to Congress. Meanwhile, many Democrats in Congress have reversed themselves and now say no changes to the 2008 law are acceptable. As I said last week, I don’t believe the American people will support sending more money to the border unless both parties work together to address these policies and actually solve this problem. The lack of leadership from this White House, and President Obama’s refusal to stand up to critics in his own political party, are jeopardizing our ability to find common ground and help the kids who are caught in the middle of this crisis.”