We mentioned yesterday that the $600 million border-funding bill passed by the Senate last week needed to go back to the House for approval—and that changes in the Senate bill meant that the House would need to send the bill back to the Senate.
Today, the House voted to do just that—but representatives made a technical change to say the legislation was a House bill to accommodate a constitutional requirement that spending bills originate in the House. So now it needs to go back to the Senate, which is on recess until mid-September.
District 8 Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords called on the Senate to come back to work to pass the bill, which includes funding for 1,000 new Border Patrol agents and additional resources and manpower.
"The residents of my district are sick and tired of all the partisan bickering and political games over securing the U.S.-Mexico border," Giffords said on the House floor this morning. "This is something that Democrats and Republicans can do to fight for what’s right for the people of America.”
Meanwhile, Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl blasted the decision to send the bill back to the Senate in a joint statement:
We call on Senator Reid to end this game of "political ping pong" and immediately bring the Senate back into session to approve this legislation and send it to the President’s desk. There is no reason $600 million dollars for border security
should be sidelined through the month of August simply because of political games. Arizonans and others living on the border deserve better—for some it’s a matter of life and death.
Republican Jesse Kelly, who is facing former state lawmaker Jonathan Paton, Brian Miller and Jay Quick in the Aug. 24 GOP primary that will decide who faces Giffords in November, tells us via email that "Gabrielle Giffords has been in Congress three-and-a-half years. During that time she has failed to secure the border and protect Arizona. She talks tough during election season but when she gets back to Washington, she does nothing to protect this district."
The Paton campaign has not responded to a request for comment on the vote.
Watch Giffords on the House floor here.