Skip to comments.After Delay, House GOP Plans Second Try on Border Bills (Blames Sen. Jeff Sessions, not Cruz)
Posted on 07/31/2014 2:06:59 PM PDT by kristinn
House Republican leaders are hoping to take a second whack at passing an emergency border-funding package, after they suddenly backed off a planned vote Thursday afternoon amid discontent within their own ranks.
The legislation had been unlikely to advance in the Senate, and already had been ticketed for a presidential veto. But the decision to pull the $659 million measure represented a major embarrassment for Speaker John Boehner and his leadership teamespecially for Rep. Steve Scalise. He does not officially become majority whip until Friday, but he and his new whip team had made this the first bill in which they had become actively engaged in vote-gathering.
After telling members the chamber was finished for the week, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy reversed course and said on the floor that it was still "possible" that there would be votes on the measures. House Republicans had a closed-door meeting at 3 p.m. Thursday and plan to have another gathering Friday at 9 a.m. to figure out the next steps and discuss legislative changes made by the leadership to lure conservatives.
"This situation shows the intense concern within our conferenceand among the American peopleabout the need to ensure the security of our borders and the president's refusal to faithfully execute our laws," GOP leaders said in a joint statement after the votes were canceled.
The decision to pull the bill from consideration came despite a carrot extended to reluctant conservatives to back the spending bill in exchange for a second vote later Thursday on a GOP measure to rein in President Obama's discretionary authority to defer deportations.
But around 1:45 p.m. lawmakers were alerted on their cell phones that the vote had been abruptly canceled. No explanation was immediately offered, leaving dazed lawmakers to ask one another what had just happened.
Democrats, meanwhile, were giddy at the news of the Republican collapse. In the House basement, Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado spotted an alert on his phone and hollered to a colleague: "You hear Speaker Cruz messed up their efforts over here again?"
Scalise's new whip team was privately blaming the opposition of Sen. Jeff Sessions , R-Ala., for causing last-second problems leading up the planned vote.
According to a member of the team, Scalise told them the six Republicans in the Alabama delegation decided not to back the bill after being lobbied by Sessions. He has opposed the bill because it does not itself contain language to freeze Obama from expanding his unilateral deferrals.
Sessions also questioned last week on the Senate floor whether agencies involved in the crisis are really "in dire need of supplemental funding from this Congress." But mostly, said the member of the whip team, Sessions's opposition was to the lack of DACA language in the House supplemental bill. He was not satisfied with letting a separate vote occur on that issue.
Some Texas members of the delegation also were unsatisfied, said the whip member.
"We had itwe even had Justin Amash as one of the ones with us," said the member, referring to the Michigan Republican with a history of breaking with leadership.
"When Jeff Sessions came over here, it gummed everything up," he said.
"We didn't want to put it on the floor with just 215 votes," he said of the number they were at, because he said Democratic leaders would then get involved in trying to pressure members of their party from crossing over and providing the two or three additional votes needed.
Alabama Rep. Spencer Bachus downplayed Sessions' involvement in the House. "The Senate doesn't tell me how to vote," he said.
I wonder if the RATs who were so proud of filibustering his nomination to the appeals court circa 1986 think it was such a great move now.
I really do wish the Republicans could hang together and start pinning the problems we have on the Demon rats, kristinn.
One thing you could say for the eight years Dubya was in: the Demonrats were of one accord, united in their constant drumbeat, or “drip drip” attack, depending on the times, against the flawed but good man in the White House.
NOW an imposter is there who isn’t fit to pump gasoline into the tank of Bush’s pick up truck...and we can’t unite on a message against him.
Republicans will try a Friday Dump
“discuss legislative changes made by the leadership to lure conservatives.”
The only thing to discuss is closing the border and enforcing existing immigration law. Do that for thirty years and if there’s any problems that haven’t been fixed then we’ll talk about it.
That’s a good point. However in this case I am delighted they aren’t hanging together since most want amnesty. The minority of conservatives is all that is keeping us from amnesty.
Time to get back on the phones ... KILL THE BILL!!!
The gob leadership is so eager to kiss obama’s butt, and they expect everyone to fall in line at the kissing booth by telling them all that it’s a beautiful woman, not a rump.
So - I applaud those that refuse to go along with the cowardly, craven and feckless “leadership” and are showing courage and true leadership themselves.
I am done with the gop. At this point I don’t really care if they hang together. No, let me rephrase that: At this point I hope thy don’t hand together. I hope they fly apart in a huge explosion and flutter back down to earth in tags and shards of their egos in the midst of the smoke and glass shards from their bag of tricks - and fine clouds of fecal matter from their standard talking points - I’ve had it with the Boehners and Cochrans and McConnells - DONE!
Go Jeff! Go Ted!
I wonder if Vitter has undermined Scalise as well. He undermines Jindal’s big spending ideas.
Jeff Sessions and David Vitter along with DeMint have undermined the amnesty agenda for a long time.
Also on twitter there was mention of Jeff influencing the MS delegation. But that is probably because the majority of the state supports McDaniel and Cochran usually votes no on amnesty bills.
Wow. I agree with my congresscritter. I am giddy too.
By Whip Team we mean: RINO Pat McHenry(NC), Ann Wagner quota queen (Missouri), Dancing Queen Aaron Schock(IL), Kristi Noem (SD) and Steve Stivers(OH).
Republicans including, from left, John Boehner, Adam Kinzinger, and Patrick McHenry might get what they want out of the immigration fight even if no bill passes.
Aaron Schock the most pro-amnesty and big spending RINO from an R+10 district.
Calling immigration “a very important issue,” Wagner said “I understand the need for reform. The system is broken and, if we do nothing, it is the de-facto amnesty that we have currently. We need to do something.”
Please continue to phone and email. All night long.
Rep. Mike Rogers, an Alabama Republican, said Sessions then worked effectively to persuade the Alabama delegation to oppose the package. When asked how influential Sessions was on the delegations votes, Rogers said: very.
Hes very respected and very knowledgable about this issue, he said, noting that Alabama members would have trouble explaining to their constituents why they broke with the senator on immigration.
Tom Delay is back?
Yup, “Time to get back on the phones . . . KILL THE BILL.”
Thanks. I always liked Sen. Sessions. Whereas Ted Cruz will filet a political opponent with cutting edge logic, Session does it with politeness. The end result is the same. Alabama should be mighty proud of him.
Jeff Sessions is a national treasure to patriots and a nightmare to leftists, spineless republicans and other assorted riffraff.
“Jeff Sessions or Ted Cruz are great company to keep. Sessions style is a little less confrontational, but his spine is just as stiff.
I wonder if the RATs who were so proud of filibustering his nomination to the appeals court circa 1986 think it was such a great move now.”
He’s been fighting amnesty for a decade now, since W was trying to cram it down our throats. He’s been a consistent hero.