The Border Supplemental and 'the Height of Irresponsibility'

Hoyer said there should be no debate over caring for the migrant children detained on the Texas border. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the August recess fast approaching and emergency funding to deal with the border crisis seemingly no closer to passage than it was a week ago, Democrats and Republicans are firing up a new round of the blame game.  

Shortly after Speaker John A. Boehner pointed the finger at the White House and congressional Democrats for the lack of action on a spending package to address the sharp rise of unaccompanied minors crossing the border, Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer redirected the blame right back at Republicans.  

"I think it would be the height of irresponsibility to leave without addressing this humanitarian issue," Hoyer said Tuesday during his weekly pen-and-pad briefing with reporters. The Maryland Democrat went on to say the supplemental funding request isn't a political issue — though, "there are political questions involved," Hoyer admitted — but he said there should be no debate that the United States has a responsibility to care for those children "who are in our custody at this point in time."  

"We would expect no less of any other country, and certainly we ought to expect no less of ourselves," Hoyer said.  

Much of the debate seems to center around revisions to a 2008 law on human trafficking. Republicans want to change the law to expedite deporting the children. Democrats, by and large, are adverse to the idea.  

With neither side looking likely to budge soon, action on the supplemental could come down to the wire before the August recess.  

The White House proposed a $3.7 billion package, but Republicans look poised to offer significantly less — and it's an open question whether revisions to the 2008 law would be in the House proposal. Boehner seems to favor including changes, while many Democrats are pushing for a "clean" border bill .  

Either way, time is running out before lawmakers return to their districts for more than a month.  


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