Dems to whip against border bill

House Democratic leaders will urge their troops to oppose the Republican bill addressing the migrant crisis at the southern border, according to the office of Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).

The move will heighten pressure on House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to rally his conference behind the $659 million package, which aims to relieve pressure at the border amid the recent influx of child migrants from Central America.

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Without Democratic support, GOP leaders can afford to lose 17 Republicans and still pass the bill. But with a number of conservatives opposed to the measure, it remains unclear if Boehner will need Democratic votes to get the package to the Senate.

Boehner predicted Tuesday that he'll have the votes to pass the measure when it comes to the floor Thursday, but acknowledged that Republicans have their own whipping to do.

“We've got a little more work to do," Boehner said.

Democrats, meanwhile, are lining up in opposition to the package. They reject a provision to change a 2008 law making it easier for authorities to deport unaccompanied migrant children crossing the border.

They argue that an emergency funding bill is the wrong place to enact controversial policy changes, particularly considering the short time remaining before the recess. 

"Anybody who wants to give the administration the ability to follow the law that now exists in the short term, while we consider whether or not we want to change the law, shouldn't be voting for this," Hoyer said Tuesday.

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