House Border Package Won’t Address Executive Orders, but Stand-Alone Bill Might

by Joel Gehrke

House Republicans won’t use the border crisis legislation to take a swipe at President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, but a bill “defunding it” might get a stand-alone vote.

“There’s broad-based support for the supplemental as it relates to the national guard, funding for removal, and the 2008 law change; with respect to the executive action, that’s currently not in their,” House Homeland Security Committee chairman Michael McCaul (R., Texas), told National Review Online. “I’m not the whip, but I think we have 218,” he said, referring to the number of votes needed for Republicans to pass a bill without Democratic help.

Immigration hawks made a push to include language pertaining to President Obama’s executive orders pertaining to immigration, but most Republicans accepted the package produced by Texas Representative Kay Granger’s working group.

“There were more people singing in unison and harmony at the conference than usual and I think it had to do with the substance of the bill but also the process by which it was put together,” Representative Aaron Schock, (R., Ill.,) told NRO.

“It’s not a perfect bill, but it incorporates much of what was reflected in the conference,” he said.

Schock said that House leadership built support for the legislation by consulting with various groups of lawmakers, before drafting the package, about what should be included inn the bill. 

That egalitarian process paid off. “[Wyoming Representative] Cynthia Lummis, for example, stood up and said, ‘I just want to say thank you for the way the process worked. Much of what I talked about as important is in this bill,’” Schock said. “You don’t normally have that.”

Representative Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.) expects that her attempt to end DACA — a companion piece to legislation offered by Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas) that would bar President Obama from using federal funds to implement the initiative — will receive a separate vote.

“It is important for us to take the steps that are included in the Granger bill; it is important for us also to let the administration know that they cannot continue to go around Congress and circumvent the law,” Blackburn told NRO. “And freezing DACA by defunding it and holding back that program, and doing that through the end of the fiscal year is an important step to take and I think you’ll see us take that action.”

“There are many members on both sides of the aisle and many individuals that are involved in execution of the law, protecting our borders tending to the children, that discuss the need to address the DACA program and the way it is being used to draw children here on the basis of false hope,” she suggested.

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