News / USA

Lawmakers React to Obama's Request for Border Funds

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 9, 2014.
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 9, 2014.
Cindy Saine

President Barack Obama’s request for $3.7 billion in emergency funds to deal with the humanitarian crisis of an influx of unaccompanied children at the U.S. border with Mexico is dominating discussion on Capitol Hill.

Democrats are calling for immediate action to fulfill his request, while most Republicans are blaming the Democratic president for the crisis and asking why he is not heading to the border.

House Speaker John Boehner met with members of his Republican caucus Wednesday to discuss the president’s request for emergency supplemental funds to deal with the child immigrant situation on the southwest border.

Sources inside the closed meeting say Boehner told members the House needs to act on the request before leaving for a long August recess.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Boehner said a group of Republicans who have been focusing on immigration issues and the House Appropriations Committee are reviewing the request, and that he will wait for their input. But he also again called for tougher action on border security:

“If we don’t secure the border, nothing is going to change," he said. "If you look at the president’s request, it is all about continuing to deal with the problem. We have got to do something about sealing the border and ending this problem so that we can begin to move on with the bigger question of immigration reform.”

House Democrats held a separate meeting, and their leaders came out calling for immediate action to comply with the president’s request.

“Yes, we need to pass this supplemental so that we can address the humanitarian crisis of children — these are children — who are coming across as refugees because of the violence they are facing in their homelands,” said Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY).

Homeland Security officials say the vast majority of an estimated 52,000 unaccompanied children who have crossed the border into the U.S. this year come from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, where drug-related violence has escalated.

President Obama is visiting Texas for talks on the border issue Wednesday, but is not planning on traveling to the border.

A number of Republican senators condemned the president for this on the Senate floor, including John Cornyn of Texas.

“How can you have a humanitarian crisis, as the White House has called this, and not want to go see it for yourself? Maybe you will actually learn something?" he asked.

Obama administration officials say a number of top-level officials have recently visited border facilities housing the children, and that the president is well informed on conditions there.

The president has said he will take executive action on the larger issue of immigration reform because the Republican-led House of Representatives has not allowed a vote on comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

The U.S. Senate passed immigration reform legislation one year ago.

You May Like

Germany Celebrates 25 Years of Unity

October 3 is a public holiday, marking the day in 1990 when East Germany and West Germany reunited More

Analysts: Russia's Syria Strikes Shake Regional Powers

If Moscow bolsters Assad, Saudi Arabia, other Gulf countries may feel obliged to step in More

Video Innovative Nano-Tech Water Filter Prevents Disease

It can absorb contaminants like copper, bacteria, viruses and pesticides, says Askwar Hilonga, who has been successfully trying out his product in Arusha More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Juan Chavez from: Massachusetts
July 13, 2014 11:52 PM
We need to send a message that illegal immigration is not going to be tolerated. We need to send these illegals back.

by: michelle from: chapman
July 09, 2014 6:45 PM
There is no issue bigger than the well being of 52,000 children. I don't care where they come from. They are here requesting our help.
In Response

by: 1worldnow from: Earth
July 10, 2014 3:30 AM
Thank you Michelle. Nice to hear a comment with common sense. People want us to spend the money to deport them. Then I say, kill 2 birds with 1 stone! Rounding up 52,000 illegals with criminal records, send them packing and help these kids!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs