GOP Blocks Amendment for Migrant Expansion

( – On Thursday, September 28, almost all GOP lawmakers voted to stop a huge influx of foreign workers who could lower wages and to halt an additional $300 million allocation for Ukraine. The amendment would potentially give away American jobs to foreign workers holding H2B and H2A visas, and also give an extra $300 million for Ukraine’s conflict with Russia. All Democrats were in support of it.

This vote was a prelude to the budget vote for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which took place late on Thursday evening. The DHS bill has faced delays for months due to divisions among GOP members over the Ukraine conflict and disagreements about President Joe Biden’s immigration policies.

House Speaker McCarthy’s DHS bill incorporates strategic policy adjustments, not just budget reductions, aimed at preventing Biden’s administration from facilitating the entry, transportation, and housing of millions of foreign job-seekers who might undercut the wages of American workers.

McCarthy wanted to hasten proceedings by combining Congress’s 12 spending bills into a single resolution. He successfully rallied both populist and business factions within the party, ultimately passing a DHS spending bill with 220 votes in favor compared to the Democrats’ 208 opposing votes.

Biden, along with Senate Democrats and some GOP Senators, is expected to contest many of the provisions outlined in the House bill. Recently, Biden requested an additional $3 billion for a forced arrival of more migrants into American cities, workplaces, and communities, in addition to the funds approved in late 2022 by the Democratic-controlled House.

However, the Democrats’ potential opposition carries risks, as there is a growing public backlash against their policy of importing foreign laborers, renters, and consumers. Senate Democrats will likely attempt to secure the expansion of visas in the final bill. The halting of the funding for Ukraine for this package has raised eyebrows as well, perhaps signalling changing attitudes for Kiev’s ongoing conflict.

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