The House passed the bill despite President Obama’s threat to veto it. The Senate, led by Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), left Washington for its recess the day before and is not expected to take up the bill.
The supplemental funding bill adopted by the House, which was offset by corresponding budget cuts, directly addresses several specific needs which have arisen as a result of the dramatic influx of immigrants, mostly from Central America, pouring across the border.
The bill is in response to Mr. Obama’s request in July for $3.7 billion, almost half of which would be devoted to the care and housing of “unaccompanied alien children,” with only 10 percent of the funds being designated to increase border security.
After publicly ignoring the invasion for months, the President apparently felt forced to finally do something to stem the tide after Gallup released a poll in June which indicated 65 percent of Americans disapproved of the President’s handling of immigration issues.
The House was unwilling to write the President another big check without some additional details about how the funds would be spent.
According to House Republicans, the bill passed by the House specifically provides funding of $405 million for the Department of Homeland Security to boost border security and law enforcement activities; $22 million to accelerate judicial proceedings for immigrants; $70 million for National Guard border efforts; $35 million for the federal deployment of the Guard; $35 million for reimbursing states for their use of the Guard on the Southern Border; and $197 million for the Department of Health and Human Services to provide temporary housing and humanitarian assistance to unaccompanied minors.
If Obama were serious about addressing the clear immigration issues, which are having a dramatic impact on the Southern Border States, you might think that he would be grateful to accept any assistance that Congress is willing to give on the issue. Instead, as he tends to do when he does not get his way, Obama threw another executive tantrum, complaining that the House passed “the most extreme and unworkable versions of a bill that they already know is going nowhere.”
As other commentators have noted, Obama should also direct some of his invective toward the do-nothing Harry Reid Senate, which could not even pass a bill to deal with the issue. Instead, Obama now says that since Congress has failed to act, thus inviting him to act on his own — maybe he was playing golf and missed the part when the House was working hard to pass a bill — he will have to “act alone, because we don’t have enough resources. We’ve already been very clear. We’ve run out of money.”
Rep. David Scott (D-South Cobb), who voted against the House funding bill, was quoted as saying, “What is missing here is when you don’t have leadership and a way forward, there’s a tremendous void there for a lot of things to happen for the next five weeks (while Congress is in recess).”
Scott was not specific when he decried the lack of leadership, but it is clear the House of Representatives has done its part to address the Southern border invasion.
It is past time for the president to actually take a leadership role on the issue rather than being the “Whiner in Chief.”
Jerry Landers is an attorney in Marietta.