Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) is calling on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to bring the Senate back from recess immediately and allow an up-or-down vote on the two House-passed border crisis bills.
“We have a true crisis at our southern border,” Vitter said in a statement Thursday. “Yet Harry Reid is blocking Senate votes on the two bills the House has passed and has put us in recess instead. I call on him to have the Senate vote on those two common-sense, House-passed bills immediately.”
Before Congress broke for recess, the House passed a pair of bills dealing with the border crisis – a supplemental appropriations bill with asylum crackdowns in it, and a bill that blocks President Obama from using any taxpayer money to expand or continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) amnesty. In passing the bills, the House GOP united around the conservative-backed policies – despite initial efforts from GOP leadership on that side of the Capitol to avoid this fight – sparking House Democrats to lose control, culminating with an incident in which House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi chased Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) across the House floor wagging her finger at him.
The Senate, on the other hand, did not pass anything to deal with the border crisis, as Reid broke for recess without passing any bill after every Republican – and some Democrats – voted to block the spending bill Reid tried to bring to the floor.
Vitter’s call for Reid to come back from recess early and allow a vote on the House bills comes as Senate Budget Committee ranking member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) is leading a charge in the Senate for a fight against Reid on this matter. Sessions has called on Americans to melt the phone lines of their members of Congress, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Appropriations Committee ranking member Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), and Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) have each joined the call for a Senate vote on the House bills now too.
Reid remains silent on whether he’ll allow the Senate to vote on the measures, as his spokesman Adam Jentleson hasn’t returned a request for comment on the matter.