Surprise! The Democrats in the House are in chaos and at each other’s throats over the pending border bill as they try to tweak a bipartisan Senate version to provide a $4.5 billion emergency spending package aimed at the border crisis.
A House vote on the bill is expected Tuesday, in the shadow of a threat by the White House to veto the House measure due to its provision to take already approved aid to Central American countries and to restrict DHS policies affecting unaccompanied migrant children.
Legislators are under pressure to get the bill passed because the Office of Refugee Resettlement, operated by the Department of Health and Human Services, will run out of funding within weeks.
Not to mention the fact that Congress is looking forward to a Fourth of July recess that begins after Thursday’s session. Reports indicate no one is interested in working through the holiday over an immigration bill.
Far left members of the House, including members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Congressional Progressive Caucus, met with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Dem leaders in Pelosi’s office late Monday evening demanding changes to the spending bill.
According to The Hill, the hard left wants the package to include “a new set of behavioral standards governing the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP),” in order to ensure migrants are treated humanely.
“There’s a difference between funding items that they say they need versus changing behaviors by creating some humanitarian standards within CBP,” Rep. Raul Ruiz said, as he left Pelosi’s office meeting. “We still need to pass the humanitarian standards bill that I’ve introduced in order to change behaviors. Otherwise, you’re going to fund a system that is treating women and children subhuman and inhumane, and that’s not going to change simply because you have more supplies.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) left the meeting and offered her very helpful comment on the situation saying, “I’m not interested in … making sure that caged children are getting warmer burritos. I’m trying to make sure that they’re not getting caged in the first place.”
Going into the meeting, AOC said she opposed the border aid bill, but upon leaving, she indicated she might vote for it with certain revisions made to it.
Pelosi had put her approval on the bill on Sunday. It “protects families” and “does not fund the administration’s failed mass detention policy,” she said.
Liberals have seized on recent stories about poor treatment of migrant children at detention centers along the border.
“We cannot continue to throw money at a dysfunctional system,” said Rep. Ilhan Omar. “With this crisis they were not equipped,” she said. “And we cannot try to help them get out of this situation without having a full comprehensive plan to deal with the humanitarian crisis we’re seeing. We are not just asking for simple changes to be made into this bill, but to go back to the drawing board and really address this from a humanitarian [perspective].”
Omar indicated she wants a drastic reconfiguration to ensure the children’s protection.
The White House issued a veto threat against the House version in a statement released Monday, calling it a “partisan bill that underfunds necessary accounts and seeks to take advantage of the current crisis by inserting policy provisions that would make our country less safe.”
“Instead of Pelosi putting a group together, Republicans and Democrats, to solve the problem, look at what she’s doing. She’s got maybe her most hardcore left groups trying to figure out how to jam the president,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise said.
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