On Friday, the House Republicans extended their stay in Washington by 24 hours to revise a supplemental appropriations bill, a desperate effort to unify partisan support on the border bill crisis and pass law without help from House Democrats.
The tweaked version of the bill, which passed 223-189, includes increased funding for the National Guard and other agencies responsible for handling the crisis. In attempt to remedy partisan fault lines for expediency’s sake, the House also removed many of the bill’s provisions, including one limiting President Obama’s ability to halt child deportations.
But as members of Congress flee Washington for a much-needed recess, many are forced to concede that this hastily-revised compromise may just be too little, too late. Although any partisan cooperation is admittedly a rarity in politics these days, the bill seems to pose little hope for substantial change. Dismissed by White House members as a work of “patchwork legislation”, the Republican-backed bill is unlikely to make it through the Senate. In fact, the President has already promised to veto the bill, citing its provisions as “arbitrary and unrealistic demands” placed on an already broken system. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, agrees, admitting that “he does not believe any legislation will be implemented” before the month-long recess.
The funding proscribed in the bill — $694 million, to be exact — pales in comparison to the several billion requested by Obama earlier this summer. Another polarizing factor is the monetary redistribution itself. Republicans allocated the majority to emergency care, border security and prevention of future arrivals, whereas Democrats have fought for a more cushy system for migrants, such as free legal counsel and temporary relief from deportation.
House Republicans refute criticism from the Senate’s majority, touting the updated bill as a “responsible address to the humanitarian crisis.” “If President Obama needs more resources,” said House Speaker John Boehner, “he will urge the Senate to put politics aside and approve of our bill.”
Despite the House’s haste and last-ditch efforts at skeleton legislation, it is increasingly unlikely that any form of the bill will reach Obama’s desk until fall.
Deppisch is a Daily Texan columnist and a government senior from League City. Follow her on Twitter @b_deppy.