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Senate Fails To Pass Its Own Border Crisis Bill

United States Capitol Building, Washington, D.C. Aerial

While the House GOP Leadership found itself embarrassed yet again by Tea Party opposition to its own version of a border crisis bill, the Senate didn’t have any more luck getting a bill passed, thus ensuring that nothing will done by Congress until the recess ends after Labor Day:

The Senate on Thursday blocked an emergency funding measure to respond to the border crisis, killing the chances of legislation reaching President Barack Obama’s desk before the August recess.

The $2.7 billion funding measure died on a procedural vote, 50-44. The Senate Democrats’ border-crisis legislation was always a long shot to secure the 60 votes needed to clear the chamber, due to Republican opposition and lack of support from some moderate Democrats.

“It’s very regretful that we’re not able to move forward on it,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said after the vote.

The failed vote came the same day as a competing funding measure in the Republican-led House collapsed after GOP leaders could not secure enough votes to pass its $659 million bill on the House floor. Republican leaders plan to keep its members in town until some border-funding measure is passed, and GOP lawmakers plan to meet Friday morning to sketch out their next move.

The Democratic-led Senate will leave town on Thursday after finishing their final round of votes — a fact that caused some consternation among some lawmakers.

“I’m not going home to South Carolina until the House acts,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). “And I’m going to ask my Senate colleagues — whether you like it or not — just vote on the damn thing. Just vote on it, whether you like it or not.”

The Senate is scheduled to be in session today, so I suppose they could theoretically take up a bill from the House if the House actually manages to pass anything today, as unlikely as that seems. However, given the fact that there is a vast cavern of difference between what the House is proposing and what the Senate bill proposed, and that the modifications that will be made to the House bill to get it through the House will likely make it less acceptable to the Senate, I wouldn’t hold out much hope for a border bill actually being voted on and passed into law by Congress today.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Jeremy R says:

    “The $2.7 billion funding measure died on a procedural vote, 50-44. The Senate Democrats’ border-crisis legislation was always a long shot to secure the 60 votes needed to clear the chamber, due to Republican opposition and lack of support from some moderate Democrats.

    Just for clarity’s sake, that’s 50-Y, 44-N:
    http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=113&session=2&vote=00252

    The bill failed because it was filibustered, not because two dems were free to vote against and still maintain a majority.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jeremy R: I think that’s called “obfuscation”, Jeremy. Rather I mean, it’s called “politics.” Once upon a time we had a functioning press and it could call such things for what they were. Not anymore.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  3. Todd says:

    It’s supposedly “Conservatives” who revere the Constitution, but I’m all but certain that the framers never intended that every vote in the Senate would require a supermajority to pass. Modern journalists just exasperate the problem every time they repeat some version of the phrase “… didn’t get the 60 votes required to pass”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  4. wr says:

    The Republicans in the Senate also blocked legislation to pay to fight fires in the west because we “can’t afford it”. So it doesn’t matter if half the country burns — the only thing that matters to the Republicans is that billionaires don’t have to pay taxes. Who cares if firefighters die because they don’t have the resources they need? It’s a pretty safe bet that none of Sheldon Adelson’s kids are on the fireline.

    Oh, and by the way, for the fiscal year that began this June 1, California budgeted an extra $200 million for the year to fight fires. As of July 31, they’d been forced to spend $50 million of it.

    But again, no billionaires’ mansions burnt down, so it’s not a problem for the Republicans.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  5. Rob in CT says:

    As I expected: filibustered.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0