Border security bill fails to lift U.S. House conservatives’ block of foreign aid package • Wisconsin Examiner

WASHINGTON — The border security bill U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson offered to conservatives to win support for a major foreign aid package had not broken a blockade of the package by hard-right members late Thursday.

The border security bill is nearly identical to a border security bill, H.R. 2, the House passed last year on a party-line vote that would reinstate Trump-era immigration policies. Including a border security bill was Johnson’s attempt to appease hard-right Republicans and win support for the foreign aid package many on his right flank oppose.

But as the U.S. House Rules Committee gathered for hours over two separate meetings Wednesday evening and Thursday to discuss the border security bill and the three separate bills totaling about $95 billion to aid Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific region, the panel had not adopted a rule that would allow the bills to receive floor consideration.

The new border security bill includes most provisions from H.R. 2 and would add more than $9 billion in grant programs for border states. It does not include a mandate for employers to verify a worker’s immigration status and employment eligibility.

Johnson, a Louisiana Republican, planned for votes Saturday on the foreign aid bills.

He also detailed a plan to move the border security bill under a separate rule.

That approach would allow the Senate to clear the bipartisan foreign aid bills without acting on the more controversial border bill. House Republicans’ first border security bill was not successful in the Senate – and the new version likely would not  pass the Democrat-controlled chamber either.


The Rules Committee called an emergency hearing on the border security bill late Wednesday, but did not have the Republican votes to adopt a rule to advance the measure to the floor.

Democrats on the committee declined to ask the witnesses, Reps. Tom McClintock of California and Jerry Nadler of New York, any questions. The top Rules Committee Democrat, James McGovern, called the meeting “pointless.”

“We are here to rehash an old bill,” McGovern said, referring to H.R. 2. “We’re here because you’re trying to figure whether you get some votes on the Ukraine package.”

The chair of the Rules Committee, Michael Burgess of Texas, said the bill was needed because it “reiterates our commitment to implementing strong border security measures.”

McGovern argued that several Republicans already publicly said they would not support advancing the bill to the House floor, meaning it would die in the committee.

Those Republicans, who are all members of the hard-right Freedom Caucus, are Reps. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Chip Roy of Texas and Ralph Norman of South Carolina.

Massie is also backing an effort by Georgia’s Marjorie Taylor Greene to oust Johnson from his role as speaker.

“I think if the three of you vote ‘no’ on this rule, we’re done,” McGovern said to them. “This is a waste of time.”

Roy also said Wednesday night’s hearing “was a sideshow that wasn’t going to result in anything.”

Burgess said that he planned to vote for the rule and encouraged Republicans to support it. He then quickly adjourned the meeting and the members didn’t return Wednesday for a vote on the rule for the bill.

The Rules Committee remained deadlocked at another hearing Thursday.

Norman said at Thursday’s hearing he would vote against the foreign aid package because it isn’t tied to border security.

“Our only ask was to include a border bill in this rule,” Norman said. “Not a standalone, which the Senate will sit on, as they have (with) H.R. 2.”

Roy also expressed his frustration Thursday that Congress has not passed any laws relating to immigration reform.

“It remains true today that we have not passed and got the president to sign into law anything that would meaningfully change or alter what is happening at the border,” he said.

House Republicans earlier this year tanked a bipartisan border deal in the Senate at the behest of the presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald J. Trump.

The Rules Committee recessed Thursday without adopting a rule again.



originally published at https%3A%2F%2Fwisconsinexaminer.com%2F2024%2F04%2F18%2Fborder-security-bill-fails-to-lift-u-s-house-conservatives-block-of-foreign-aid-package%2F by Ariana Figueroa

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