Congress fails to advance border bill before recess

Congressional leaders in the House of Representatives and Senate left for their August break without reaching an agreement on immigration. According to CNN, House Republicans didn’t vote on a $659 million emergency response bill that would provide funds to address concerns about the number of immigrants coming to the border from Central America.

A $2.7 billion plan developed by Senate Democrats responding to the surge in immigrants coming to the U.S. failed by 60 votes.

President Barack Obama recently asked Congress for $3.7 billion in emergency funding. The source reported that the money would have been used to increase border security while also speeding up processing time for the thousands of individuals, including children arriving on their own, who come to the border from countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

A vote was expected on the bill drafted by the House of Representatives, however, it was canceled after a meeting between Republicans was held. Those leaders then reported to CNN that a vote would not be held on the border bill until it had the support needed to be passed to the Senate.

Despite bringing a lawsuit against the president for his use of executive action regarding health care at the end of July, House Speaker John Boehner suggested the president use that same action to get emergency money to address the border issue.

“There are numerous steps the president can and should be taking right now, without the need for congressional action, to secure our borders and ensure these children are returned swiftly and safely to their countries,” a statement by House Republicans said.

Boehner said that Senate Democrats were pushing for an immigration solution so a pathway to citizenship could be granted to the millions of undocumented immigrants already living in the U.S., the Associated Press reported.