The Tampa Tribune uses the entire top fold of its editions today to feature the bold headline, "Border crisis hits home" — and then proceeds to inform us of a story that's been known for weeks — that a shelter in Pasco County has applied to expand the number of beds at its facility to house 16 undocumented children who have entered the U.S. illegally in recent months. Not exactly certain why it's the lead story in the paper today, but nevertheless the question of how Congress is going to address this humanitarian crisis is being debated this week. Not surprisingly, not only are the two political parties somewhat at odds about the answer on what to do, but there's discord inside the GOP caucus in the House as well.
If you'll recall, President Obama has called for Congress to approve $3.7 billion to deal with the situation, but he's not going to get that much. The Democratic Senate's plan calls for $2.7 billion to deal with the problem, but it will not include amendments to the 2008 law that says unaccompanied minors coming to the U.S. from Central America must be held humanely by the Department of Health and Human Services until the courts release them to a “suitable family member” in this country.
The GOP House plan introduced yesterday by Texas Representative Kay Granger would allocate $1.5 billion to pay for National Guard deployments and to bolster the Border Patrol. It reportedly would "tweak" the 2008 law, but not outright ban it. But according to the Washington Post, there is a dispute in the Republican caucus on whether to support this, since it's allegedly President Obama's "problem" and why should they bail him out? That's not the opinion of House Speaker John Boehner, who wants to be able to enjoy the rest of his summer vacation while not being bashed by the hard right for failing to act regarding the problems at the border.
Vacation, you asked? Yes, the House and Senate are scheduled to take five weeks off beginning a week from tomorrow, and NOTHING will get in the way of that....
In other news…
Two contrasting views of same-sex marriage among Florida Republicans burst into the open: David Jolly has now penned a long letter to his constituents about his evolution in support of the matter, coming out after a public letter excoriating him was released by a conservative group yesterday.
Meanwhile, Marco Rubio gave a speech in D.C. telling people to not call him "a hater," just because he's not into same-sex marriage.
The latest Quinnipiac Poll released on the Florida gubernatorial race shows that most Floridians aren't turned on by their two main choices, and an increasing number are looking at the third-party candidate in the race, the Libertarian Party's Adrian Wyllie.