The House GOP leadership team on Tuesday unveiled the blueprint for the Republican-controlled Congress to deal with the influx of undocumented immigrants and border security in the months ahead, as they prepare to tackle a major legislative priority in the wake of the election of Donald Trump.
The outline of the plan, which includes $1.2 trillion in spending cuts and a doubling of the federal minimum wage, was unveiled during a closed-door meeting of the Republican Study Committee, a key group of conservative lawmakers that Trump won in November.
The legislation would likely face intense resistance from Democrats, who will try to block it in the House.GOP leaders did not detail a specific policy, but they said the plan would address a host of issues that they said would be of concern to Republicans and Democrats alike.
“Our country is in crisis, and it’s up to us to do something about it,” said Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va., a member of the GOP Study Committee.
“The president-elect has promised to do what he promised, but he’s also pledged to put America first, so it’s a challenge.
It’s not just for the president.
It has to be done by the American people.”
The bill would give states a say in deciding how to manage their borders and set priorities for how the federal government should fund border security, according to the summary.
The plan would also provide for border security funding for cities and towns, as well as a program for states that allow their citizens to come to the U.S. for work or study.
Republican Rep. Joe Barton, R, Texas, who chairs the GOP study committee, said the proposal could give Republicans a much-needed win in the midterm elections.
“We can’t wait until the end of the year,” Barton said.
“This is a great opportunity to do a lot of good for our country.”
The plan also would expand the ability of the U,S.
Border Patrol to arrest illegal immigrants who attempt to enter the U., and provide funding for new technology to help the agency track illegal immigrants and keep them out.
The plan would cut funding for the Obama administration’s program that grants work permits to illegal immigrants in exchange for a $2,000 fine and other measures.
Democrats will likely counter that the plan does not address the many immigration issues that have plagued the country under the Obama presidency, and Republicans will likely try to use it as leverage against the president-and-vice president nominee.
Democrats have long criticized the Obama immigration program, which the Senate approved in March and the House passed last month, as a failure.
“They have the audacity to claim that they’re taking the border from the Mexican government,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. “They have not.”
But some Republican lawmakers, including Rep. Mark Walker, R of Ohio, a member, said that the border plan would help address some of the challenges of the country’s border, especially with illegal immigration.
“The border is a place that is a very difficult place to live in, it’s an area that is porous,” Walker said.
“This plan will ensure that the U of M will be able to secure its borders and protect our border security.”
A spokesman for the Trump transition team did not immediately respond to a request for comment.