House Speaker John Boehner thinks it is unlikely Congress will agree on a measure to solve the ongoing humanitarian crisis at the southwestern border before legislators leave for a month-long break in August.
“I don’t have as much optimism as I’d like to have,” he said Thursday.
Boehner also admitted he isn’t confident lawmakers will provide President Barack Obama with the nearly four billion dollars he requested more than a week ago to address the influx of undocumented child immigrants across the border.
“I can’t imagine our members are going to want to send more money down there without attempting to mitigate the problem at the border,” he added.
More than 52,000 children have crossed the border since October, many fleeing violence and instability in Central America. But the president’s appeal for emergency appropriations has been met with hesitance by Republican leadership. Many lawmakers have said the request is too costly and that money alone won’t solve the problem.
Previously, Boehner said he would collaborate with his fellow Republicans to investigate Obama’s appeal by the end of this week. Texas Rep. Kay Granger, chair of the GOP border working group, is expected to send Boehner the members’ policy recommendations on how to deal with the issue.
“There really weren’t sticking points, it’s just fairly technical and we didn’t want to miss anything,” Granger said. “And so part of it had to do with the wording and looking at some of the bills that were in process and could we use that. We actually went amazingly fast.”
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, a Kentucky Republican, will begin drafting the legislation once Boehner receives the suggestions. The House could consider a measure as soon as next week.
Funds allocated for care of the children will be depleted by the end of August if lawmakers don’t agree on a spending bill. Congress’ annual month-long break begins in less than two weeks.