After a nearly two-hour meetings, the House Rules Committee approved a resolution allowing members to vote on two border bill late Friday night.
The Republican-led committee approved the resolution in a part-line vote, over objections from Democrats that the House should scuttle the two bills and instead consider passing comprehensive immigration reform.
The resolution will let the House vote on a $694 million bill to fund border operations. That’s $35 million more than the bill considered earlier this week.
According to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), that extra $35 million will be used to reimburse states, including Texas, that have used the National Guard to help police the border.
The other bill that should get a vote is one aimed at preventing President Barack Obama from expanding an amnesty program for millions of illegal immigrants. Press reports say Obama is considering this step, and Republicans worked over the last 24 hours to tighten up language in that bill.
The next step in the process is to have the House approve the resolution governing debate and votes on the two bills. That was expected to begin in the early evening.
Once the resolution is approved, members will debate and vote on the two separate bills.
Republicans were thought to have secured the needed GOP votes for both bills, after they failed to get enough support on Thursday.
Passage of both bills late Friday would likely allow the House to return home, and let Republicans claim that they have acted on the border crisis when Senate Democrats failed. The Senate adjourned for five weeks, and has no votes planned for that period.
“It would be irresponsible and unstatesmanlike to head home for the month without passing a bill to address this serious present crisis on the border,” Rogers said.