The continuing resolution (CR) offered on the floor Friday included many of the spending cuts conservative Republicans demand. It also featured changes that would have reversed the Biden administration's open-borders policies. But 21 House Republicans voted against it.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-California) then chose to support the status quo, introducing a clean bill that contained no spending cuts and no immigration enforcement provisions. With the support of Democrats, it was passed.
"At some point you have to say we can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good," responds Ira Mehlman, media director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). "What these 21 Republicans turned down was a bill that would have ensured that the border was secured; it would have provided a lot of resources that would have tied the administration's hands, trimmed the budget somewhat."
Mehlman understands that no one in politics should expect to get exactly what they want. Still, he thinks the GOP blew it.
"There's all sorts of blame to be passed around. What we're dealing with now is we have 45 days. They need to get their act together, make sure that there's strong border enforcement language put into whatever bill funds the government after November 17th," the FAIR spokesman submits. "It should have happened over the weekend, but they blew the opportunity."
Now, over the next six weeks, he says it is vital that House leaders make it clear that any spending agreements for FY 2024 must include HR 2, the Secure the Border Act. The nation, Mehlman concludes, cannot afford to wait any longer for real action.