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Congress Vacations While The Surge Continues At The Border

Updated: Wednesday, August 6 2014, 03:39 PM CDT
Almost 75% of people believe our members of Congress have been unproductive this year.  That's the result of a new poll from NBC, Wall Street Journal, and Marist.

The poll also shows half of people believe the current Congress has been 'very unproductive.'

Members are now on a 5-week summer break. They're scheduled to work just 113 total days this year.

The August recess comes as Congress failed to reach an agreement on how much money to spend or what to do about that costly immigration crisis.

Independent investigative contributor Sharyl Attkisson looks at the facts and figures left behind in Washington.

A system handling just 6,000 illegal immigrant minors a decade ago, is now flooded with more than 57,000 since last October, most from Central America.

President Obama wants $3.7 billion in emergency funds for the final two months of this fiscal year, $1.8 billion of that to feed and house the minors, $1.2 billion for processing.

But Congress isn't even close to agreeing on how much extra money to provide.

Republican Congressman Randy Weber, seen here on the border in his home state of Texas, says money should first come from the countries whose citizens are fleeing in droves.  "We're gonna stop your foreign aid and you're gonna pay for that until you start helping us stem the tide."

The Democrat-led Senate proposed $2.7 billion dollars to cover the last two months of this fiscal year. The Republican-led House: $694 million. Of the total, Democrats would give Health and Human Services $1.2 billion more for housing and humanitarian assistance. Republicans: $197 million. Under Democrats, Homeland Security would get an extra $1.1 billion dollars. Republicans: $405 million.

But the whole issue is so contentious, the Senate didn’t even vote on its plan before Congress' five-week summer vacation.

Meantime, the problem—and the expenses—continue to build.

Even with emergency funds in limbo, the White House already announced $384 million in June for programs to help Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador--where most of the minors are said to be fleeing poverty and violence.

Sharyl is an Indpendent Contributor. Her extensive experience as an investigative reporter in Washington D.C. will help us continue our focus on holding public officials accountable.

 Congress Vacations While The Surge Continues At The Border


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