House Republicans unveiled a slimmed-down bill Tuesday to address the immigration crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border by sending in National Guard troops and speeding migrant youths back home. The election-year measure would allow Republicans to say they tried to solve the humanitarian problem in South Texas, even though it stands no chance of becoming law.
The bill would cost $659 million through the final two months of this fiscal year, far smaller than the $3.7 billion requested by President Barack Obama for this year and next, and a sharp reduction from the $1.5 billion initially proposed by the House spending committee. The cuts were designed to win over skeptical conservatives and give lawmakers something they could pass before leaving Washington at the end of this week for their annual August recess.
The measure also includes policy changes rejected by most Democrats that would allow unaccompanied youths who've been arriving by the tens of thousands from Central America to be turned around quickly at the border and sent back home without judicial hearings.
"I think there's sufficient support in the House to move this bill," House Speaker John Boehner told reporters after meeting with rank-and-file lawmakers on the issue. "We have a little more work to do though."
Boehner said the bill would come to a vote on Thursday.
Yet even if it does pass the House, the bill is certain to be rejected by the Democratic-run Senate, which seemed likely to move ahead with a vote on its own $2.7 billion border package.
Read the full story at the Associated Press