WASHINGTON (NewsNation) — A new Republican border security bill that would give the Department of Homeland Security the authority to turn away any migrant under any circumstance if there’s deemed to be a border crisis was put on hold due to opposition within the GOP.
But now, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La) told NewsNation that House Republicans are working on a larger package that can help secure the border, saying that the more moderate Republicans are engaged and want to secure the border as well.
“We’re doing a larger border security package, so the Judiciary Committee and Homeland Security Committee are both working right now. Obviously we just constituted the committees last week, so they are getting to work on a package that could secure our border,” Scalise said.
Some moderate Republicans were concerned the bill goes too far, and in the case of families fleeing legitimate violence with their children, they said those migrant cases should be allowed to have at least the opportunity to apply for asylum in the U.S.
Scalise said the more moderate Republicans are now involved, saying, “They are engaged in this debate too, they want to secure the border as well.”
Introduced by Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) and co-sponsored by 58 Republicans, the bill was supposed to be fast-tracked. It was one of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s priority bills, which was part of the deal McCarthy made to secure enough votes to become speaker.
However, a few dozen Republicans’ oppositions means it would certainly fail to pass in the House since the Republican House majority is razor-thin over the Democrats. All it takes is four Republicans to block any one bill, and in its current form, this border security measure does not have enough support to move forward.
The bill would also mandate the DHS secretary to close the border off if immigration agencies say they’re at a crisis point and cannot process migrants. It would also empower states’ attorney generals to sue the federal government if the DHS secretary failed to take that action.
NewsNation has reached out to some House offices to see if there’s any negotiation behind the scenes to make changes to this bill that may win over some of the Republicans who oppose it.
The bill has gone back to the House Committee on Homeland Security to be reworked.
While it is extremely unlikely any Democrats would support the bill in its current state, there may be some Democrats who may support increasing border security in exchange for reforms that would give DACA recipients a pathway to citizenship.
However, this bill — as written — won’t get any Democratic support in the House and would certainly never be considered in the Senate.