Yesterday, Speaker John Boehner indicated the House Republicans will push back against any attempt to hijack their border bill.

The bill would allocate $659 million to border authorities, far less than the almost $4 billion President Obama requested.

Boehner released the following statement (emphasis added):

“Senator Reid, embarrassed that he cannot strong-arm the Senate into passing the blank check President Obama demanded, is making a deceitful and cynical attempt to derail the House’s common-sense solution.

So let me be as clear as I can be with Senator Reid: the House of Representatives will not take up the Senate immigration reform bill or accept it back from the Senate in any fashion. Nor will we accept any attempt to add any other comprehensive immigration reform bill or anything like it, including the DREAM Act, to the House’s targeted legislation, which is meant to fix the actual problems causing the border crisis.

Such measures have no place in the effort to solve this crisis, and any attempt to exploit this crisis by adding such measures will run into a brick wall in the People’s House.

“While the White House has abandoned all pretense of governing and the Senate is doing almost nothing to address our struggling economy, Republicans remain committed to addressing the American people’s priorities, and that includes passing a responsible bill this week to help secure our border and return these children safely to their home countries.” 

Boehner’s statement was in direct response to Senator Reid’s statement indicating the the GOP’s border bill could be used as an opportunity to push the ever-ambiguous “immigration reform.” The Hill reports:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday that if the House passes a $659 million border bill with policy changes, he could use it as a vehicle for comprehensive immigration reform.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is trying to round up enough votes for a pared-down border bill that spends far below the president’s request for $3.7 billion and includes policy changes to speed the deportation of illegal minors from Central America.

Reid said the policy changes would give him an opportunity to attach the comprehensive immigration reform bill that the Senate passed last year with the support of 14 Republicans.

“If they pass that, maybe it’s an opening for us to have a conference on our comprehensive immigration reform. If they’re finally sending us something on immigration, maybe we can do that,” Reid told reporters after a lunch meeting with his caucus.

“We’ve been looking for something to do a conference on. Maybe we can do it with that,” Reid said.

Thankfully, House Leadership is digging in to ensure no unnecessary concessions are made at the expense of securing the southern border. It’s almost like they’ve been reading us here at Legal Insurrection:

“More advantageous would be a scenario where securing the border is a wholly separate discussion, not tethered to any reform preference du jour, but simply — secure the border. Regardless of where one falls politically, most will agree this is one of the primary reasons, if not the reason the federal government exists. Having this discussion on its own merits will likely produce more successful results in terms of actually securing the border and leave us free to have the immigration discussion we wanted to have, having traded nothing to start the conversation.

Let the immigration debate be the immigration debate and in the mean time, force the federal government to fulfill its sole obligation by securing our borders.”

The House isn’t alone in wanting to keep the border and immigration reform issues separate though. Senator’s McCain, Graham, Rubio, and Flake have all pitched their support behind Speaker Boehner’s effort to deal with the humanitarian crisis at the border first.


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