House Republicans on Friday passed a bill aimed at stopping the flow of Central American children trying to cross the southern border, but the legislation is opposed by President Barack Obama and has no chance of becoming law. Washington bureau reporter Michael Scotto filed the following report for NY1.
One day after House Republican leaders were forced to pull their bill to deal with children trying to cross the southern border, they managed to craft a solution that won the support of their most conservative members.
"I think we're headed in the right direction," said Rep. Roger Williams of Texas. "I couldn't be more excited, frankly, about strengthening our situation on the border."
The bill would spend nearly $700 million, with cash going to pay for National Guard support. That's far less money than President Barack Obama had requested to deal with the crisis.
It would also make significant changes to a 2008 law that has made it harder to deport Central American children.
"If they haven't been trafficked and they haven't been abused and they came in here and don't express either one of those opinions as the reason they came, then they're gone," said Rep. John Carter of Texas.
Another bill would effectively end Obama's policy of allowing so-called "Dreamers," teenagers who came here illegally as children, to remain in the country.
The entire package infuriated Democrats.
"When did we lose our way?" said Rep. Nydia Velazquez, whose district covers parts of Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. "Let me be crystal clear: the changes being added to the supplemental will make the lives of the children worse."
It's safe to say the legislation will never become law. To many on the left, the bill is seen purely as a political document, and at this point, it's looking unlikely there will be a legislative solution to the problem.
On Thursday, the Democratic-controlled Senate saw its own plan get defeated after the bill failed to win the support of Republicans.
"I'm going to have to act alone because we don't have enough resources," Obama said. "We've already been very clear. We've run out of money."
Despite all the gridlock, Congress did manage to agree on plans to save the highway trust fund and reform the veterans affairs department. Lawmakers will have plenty on their plates when they return in September.