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The Hill: House Republicans score fourth major procedural win with motion to recommit

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Washington, July 24, 2019 | comments

House Republicans scored a major procedural win Wednesday by amending a bill that would require Customs and Border Protection to enact safety and hygiene standards for migrants in their custody to include language commending U.S. Border Patrol agents for their work during the humanitarian crisis. 

Forty-one Democrats joined Republicans in voting for the motion to recommit (MTR) — which was led by Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) — a procedural tool used by the minority to amend legislation at the eleventh hour on the floor. 

“If this Congress cannot agree to provide these agents the resources they need, as this bill fails to do, at least we can, the least we can do is affirm our appreciation for their work. Agreeing to this motion to recommit will not impact the passage of this bill. Voting in favor of this will not kill the bill that we're voting on here today,” Kinzinger said on the floor during debate.  

“Today what we have is an opportunity and a moment in time to make a simple statement. This institution can leave politics aside and take this time to recognize the mothers and fathers, the brothers and sisters, the sons and daughters, the husbands and wives, our neighbors and the constituents we serve, the men and women of our U.S. Border Patrol working in these facilities every day.” 

Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.) — who introduced the Humanitarian Standards for Individuals in Customs and Border Protection Custody Act that passed 233-195 — encouraged members to oppose the motion to recommit, arguing partisan tactics shouldn’t be used on a bill intended to improve the concerning conditions migrants face in the facilities.  

"This bill gives them the tools to help protect kids and families," he said during debate. "You see, Mr. Speaker, this bill isn't about political trickery. It's not about partisan gotcha politics. This bill is about the goodness of the American people." 

Republicans have repeatedly utilized the procedural tool in an attempt to highlight divisions within the Democratic caucus. The passage of Wednesday’s motion marks the fourth time this year they’ve successfully picked off enough members across the aisle to make last-minute changes to a bill. 

Democratic leadership attempted to crack down on members breaking with party ranks, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) warning would-be defectors that Democratic resources are best reserved for those who vote with the party, according to multiple media reports.

“Tonight, 41 House Democrats broke party lines to join Republicans in passing a momentous Republican Motion to Recommit. This MTR commended the selfless employees of the U.S. Border Patrol for steadfastly carrying out their duties and commitments to the American people during an unimaginable time of crisis,” a spokeswoman for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said in a statement. 

“Despite the record number of immigrants flooding the border, paired with the devastating lack of resources, these men and women do their best every day to stick to the mission, even if it means long hours or paying out of their own pockets for basic items like toothpaste and toys. Congress should support and thank these officers, not demonize them.” 


The original article can be found on The Hill website here.
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