House Rejects Border Security Bill

The rejection of the legislation under suspension of the rules was unsurprising, as it would have relied on Democrat support to pass.

The House of Representatives on April 20 rejected another border security bill.

In a vote under suspension of the rules, the House voted 215–199 to block the bill. Because it was not considered under normal rules, it required a two-thirds majority to pass.

The bill was supported by all Republicans and was opposed by all but a handful of Democrats. Five Democrats joined Republicans in supporting the bill. But Republican support alone was not enough to push it over the finish line with the higher threshold.

The vote comes as the House the same day is expected to approve $95 billion in foreign aid funding for Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan. The Ukraine aid package included $300 million for Ukraine’s border security.

The legislation was considered under suspension of the rules because it had been blocked by conservatives on the House Rules Committee earlier this week in protest to leadership’s decision to move forward on foreign aid legislation.

In a post to X, formerly Twitter, Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas)—among those who blocked the bill in the Rules Committee—said, “sorry, not sorry, for opposing a crappy rule that is a show vote / cover vote for funding Ukraine instead of border security.”

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The move came after House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) reneged on an earlier promise not to put Ukraine funding on the floor without border concessions from Democrats.

Mr. Johnson likely gave the bill a chance on the floor in an effort to assuage Mr. Roy and other conservatives who have been critical of his approach to foreign aid.

It comes amid an unprecedented crisis of illegal immigration along the southern border.

U.S. Border Patrol has encountered more than 7.6 million illegal immigrants trying to cross the border since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, with millions more gotaways estimated to have entered undetected.

Mr. Johnson says the new bill, the “End the Border Catastrophe Act,” is based on H.R. 2—Republicans’ landmark border security bill of the 118th Congress—and outlines many of the same policies.

“We’re gonna put the key elements of H.R. 2, which is our legislation that House Republicans passed over a year ago; it’s been sitting on Chuck Schumer’s desk collecting dust as they mock it,” he said.

“We’re gonna reintroduce that, end catch and release, reinstate ‘Remain in Mexico,’ fix the broken asylum process, fix the broken parole process (it’s been abused), rebuild portions of the wall.”


The move received criticism from some of Mr. Johnson’s peers in the House, who have dismissed the tagalong border bill as “theatrics.”

“It’s a theatrics, shiny object; it’s the shiny object for Republicans that are saying, ‘We got to do something for the border,’” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) said to the media following the bill’s unveiling.

Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.), the chair of the House Freedom Caucus, called it “a joke,” “pretend,” and “theater.”

Rep. Harriet Hageman (R-Wyo.), who was among the 55 Republicans that opposed the advancement of the foreign aid package earlier this week, argued that it was wrong for the United States to be securing the borders of other nations amid the ongoing crisis at the southern border with Mexico.

“We’re sending $300 million for the state border guard services of Ukraine … yet won’t spend the same kind of money here to secure our own border,” Ms. Hageman said.

She called the foreign aid legislation, “a parade of horribles that is absolutely a terrible bill for terrible policy, spending money that we don’t have.”

Rep. Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.) argued that Mr. Johnson should have put a clean Israel bill on the floor and attached a “Remain in Mexico” policy requirement to Ukraine legislation.

“Instead what we have is something that’s going to further divide the Republican conference and … just make it harder as we go forward,” Mr. Ogles said.

The failure of the bill represents another dead-on-arrival border bill in Congress.

Republicans’ H.R. 2, the first border bill proposed during the 118th Congress, was passed by Republicans near the start of the session but has not even received a vote in the Senate.

Another border proposal negotiated in the Senate between Sens. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) failed to move in the House after Republicans criticized it, saying it would only worsen the situation along the southern border.

Had this most recent foray into border policy succeeded, it likely would have met the same fate as H.R. 2 in the Senate.

Steven Katte contributed to this report. 

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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