Facing a rebellion among their most conservative ranks, House Republicans were forced Thursday to scuttle an emergency spending measure to address the surge of young Central American migrants at the southern border, in a major embarrassment to the new leadership team.
House Republicans, who have long called for strengthening security at the nation's southern border, are now forced to head home for the five-week August recess with nothing to show for their efforts — something many Republicans fear will be an enormous political liability.
The blow to Speaker John A. Boehner and his new team — including Representatives Kevin McCarthy of California, the new majority leader, and Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the whip — ensures that no legislation to address what both Democrats and Republicans call an urgent humanitarian crisis will reach President Obama's desk before the August break.
"This situation shows the intense concern within our conference — and among the American people — about the need to ensure the security of our borders and the president's refusal to faithfully execute our laws," House Republican leaders said in a statement. "There are numerous steps the president can and should be taking right now, without the need for congressional action, to secure our borders and ensure these children are returned swiftly and safely to their countries."