On Friday, Democrat leaders of the House of Representatives chose to ignore a Republican call to cancel or delay the scheduled August recess in order to address a funding bill for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). As the legislators scattered for the six-week-long recess, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham took a well-placed shot at them, tweeting: “@realDonaldTrump keeps working hard for this country – the U.S. just signed a ‘Safe Third Agreement’ w Guatemala to help secure our border. As the President works hard to solve the crisis on the southern border, I sure hope the dems enjoy their vacations!”
.@realDonaldTrump keeps working hard for this country – the U.S. just signed a “Safe Third Agreement” w Guatemala to help secure our border. As the President works hard to solve the crisis on the southern border, I sure hope the dems enjoy their vacations!
— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) July 26, 2019
A total of 34 House Republicans, led by Rep. Chip Roy, sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arguing that Congress has no business adjourning for six weeks without first debating a bill to fund ICE and do their part to alleviate the humanitarian crisis at the border.
“We are united in our belief that the House of Representatives should not adjourn for August recess before providing adequate funding to our men and women of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on the frontlines dealing with the ongoing humanitarian crisis on our southern border,” the letter stated.
“Additionally, we must address the largest barriers to regaining operational control of the border – family detention and the Flores agreement, the unintended consequences of the 2008 trafficking law that impedes our ability to expeditiously process unaccompanied children, and loopholes in our asylum laws.”
The Republicans also pointed out that the immigration crisis is overwhelming other agencies in addition to ICE. “ICE is not the only agency that is overwhelmed,” they wrote. “Our law enforcement community as a whole is struggling to deal with the crisis. However, ICE was notably underfunded in the emergency border supplemental passed last month. In fact, not one single dollar was provided for additional beds even though family detention centers are run by ICE. It is unconscionable to accuse DHS of improperly caring for migrant families while simultaneously refusing to provide much needed resources.”
“Do not adjourn the House of Representatives for the August recess until we have provided ICE agents adequate funding and have addressed family detention and the Flores fix,” they demanded. “Leaving town for a month to campaign and parade our accomplishments in Congress is an insult to our constituents, the American people, and the migrants suffering at the hands of dangerous cartels who are abusing our immigration laws for profit.”
The letter is available here …
On the Senate side, recess is slated to begin after next week. Even when our elected officials are present and in session, progress is at best measured in blue moons, as evidenced by the fact that the Senate Judiciary Committee has spent months to markup Chairman Lindsey Graham’s “Secure and Protect Act of 2019.”
Graham called a markup session earlier this week, but Democrats on the committee refused to show up, effectively delaying progress.
“Under Committee rules, business cannot be transacted unless there are two members present from the minority,” read a statement issued by Graham’s office. “The Democrats’ refusal to attend is designed to prevent the legislation from coming to a vote in committee. Chairman Graham pledged to confront the delay, bring the bill up again next week, and force a committee vote.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein whined about Graham’s intent to change the requirement for minority-party members to be at the meeting in order to vote on legislation.
Chairman Graham today unveiled the Secure and Protect Act of 2019 to strengthen border security.
— Senate Judiciary (@senjudiciary) May 15, 2019
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