House Republican leaders who this week cancelled plans to debate a border security bill opposed by their conservative faction acknowledged Tuesday making “a couple of stumbles” in formulating their agenda.
Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, met privately with rank and file Republicans Tuesday morning, a day after pulling a border security bill that the far right faction viewed as too soft.
Republican leaders were forced to cancel debate on the legislation because it may not have had the support needed for passage. They had hoped to quickly pass the bill, which is aimed at strengthening border security by giving the Department of Homeland Security firm deadlines to halt the influx of illegal immigrants.
In addition to the border bill, Republicans were forced to withdraw legislation that would have restricted abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. That bill collapsed when more moderate members of the conference protested a requirement that victims of rape and incest report the crime to police.
“There have been a couple of stumbles,” Boehner told reporters after the meeting.
Boehner said Republicans have had to change course “in our effort to show the American people we are here to listen to their priorities.”
Conservatives told the Washington Examiner they want the border security bill to be considered alongside legislation that would increase interior enforcement of immigration laws. Conservatives also want to postpone debate on either bill until the Senate takes up a House-passed spending bill that would curb President Obama’s executive actions allowing millions of illegal immigrants to obtain work permits and some federal benefits.
Boehner said the House has not devised a plan in case the Senate is unable to pass the spending bill, which funds the Department of Homeland Security past a temporary measure that expires Feb. 27.
Democrats in that chamber are likely to filibuster the measure because of the provisions defunding Obama's executive action.