- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 18, 2019

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said leadership is focused on keeping controversial elements out of the continuing resolution that Congress is looking to pass this week, in an attempt to avoid another government showdown over funding for immigration issues.

Speaking with reporters Wednesday, the Maryland Democrat explained that the stopgap funding measure will keep the deal that House Democrats were forced to take in June on an emergency border bill.

“When you have CRs, of course you have an opportunity to get something on a CR which you perceive is a must-sign, must-pass bill. So there are a lot of people who want a lot of things on the CR,” he said. “But the speaker and I would like to keep this CR as clean as possible because we’re talking about seven weeks at most.”

The summer deal dealt with getting funds to border agencies to help humanely manage the influx of detained migrants. It included money for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Defense Department, but no new rules were attached regarding congressional visits to detention centers and how long children can be held — a major blow for Democrats who passed their own version with stringent new requirements.

The vote on the Senate’s version, which passed before the Fourth of July break, triggered a major schism in the Democratic Party — with more liberal members furious with moderate members they said lost them leverage.

Now, lawmakers have until Sept. 30, the end of the federal fiscal year, to pass a stopgap measure that will keep the government open until Nov. 21 while they negotiate on larger spending bills.

The House is still ironing out a few issues on the bill, but Mr. Hoyer expects it to be released later Wednesday and be passed Thursday or Friday.

Mr. Hoyer said lawmakers are being told that instead of hitching their hopes of getting a better deal in the continuing resolution, they will be able to have those conversations later when Congress takes up the larger appropriations bills.

He also said the House is set to take up next week a couple of bills that deal with the treatment of immigrants at the border

“It’s not the last train that’s going forward. And the next train will be something that will be dealt with in a much more comprehensive way,” he said.

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