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Rep. McCaul: Senate immigration reform bill threw ‘candy’ at border

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) on Sunday criticized the border security measures in the Senate immigration bill, saying they were ineffective measures designed only to win votes.

"In the past all we've done is thrown money down at the problem at an ad hoc basis and it hasn't worked," McCaul said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "What the Senate just passed was, again, a bunch of candy thrown down there —a bunch of assets thrown down there to gain votes, but without a methodical, smart border approach. 

McCaul cautioned that the House would press for tougher border enforcement measures.

“We want a smart border, we also want a smart immigration plan. Something that makes sense," he added. 

McCaul's comments come weeks after the Senate passed a bipartisan immigration reform bill 68-32 with 14 Republican votes. 

The bill included an amendment funding additional fencing along the U.S. Mexico border and doubling the number of border patrol agents, measures meant to attract GOP support.

Conservatives have made tougher border enforcement a priority in immigration reform legislation. But McCaul on Sunday said the Senate bill failed to address his concerns.

House Republicans are set to discuss immigration reform in a special closed door meeting on Wednesday. McCaul is one of a number of top House lawmakers who have said the House should not adopt the Senate bill and, instead, should work on crafting its own version. 

A bipartisan group is working on unveiling a proposal in the House. But immigration reform faces an uphill climb in the GOP-controlled chamber with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) vowing not to push any measure that lacks the majority support of his conference.

McCaul suggested President Obama might secretly be hoping that the House fails to pass an immigration bill to gain politically.

"My concern is that the political backdrop could be that the White House would like to see this fail in the House so that he could blame the House of Representatives for that and then try to take back the House of Representatives and then all bets are off on his agenda," McCaul said.

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