Congress is set to go on its August recess Thursday, July 31, 2014. But there is still a lot of work to be done before everyone leaves. Fox10 News morning anchors Eric Reynolds and Sarah Wall spoke to Alabama Representative Bradley Byrne live Thursday during the morning news to talk about some of the key issues that still need to be addressed before lawmakers leave on break.
One of the items on the must-do list is legislation to fund the Federal Highway Trust Fund. Without it, hundreds of roads and bridge projects across the country and across the Gulf Coast could come to a halt. We asked Congressman Byrne if he thought they were going to have a plan in place before he left Washington, D.C. Thursday.
“As you know the house passed a version a couple of weeks ago which would have get us through the next 9 months. We sent it over to the senate and the senate made a change to it so it had to come back to the house. So at some point today before we leave, we have to deal it. My anticipation is if we would say no. We meant the version we sent to you a few weeks ago and simply send it back to them. I think at that point, they will adopt whatever we send back to them,” explained Representative Byrne.
The house is expected to vote Thursday on a $659 million bill to send resources to the Southwest border of the U.S. The measure would also speed up the return home of thousands of unaccompanied Central American minors who have recently surged across the border.
“There is a vote today, potentially at least on this border crisis – not on the bigger immigration issue I don’t think we will deal with that. But, as you know we have literally tens of thousands of children that are on the border right now from other countries that a lot of us think just need to be sent back in a humane fashion to the countries they came from. We are waiting to see exactly what language is going to be in the bill they put before us today… and I anticipate there will be some bill today. And I hope it is a bill I can vote for because I think we need to do something about this problem, because we have to get this right, because I would prefer to have no bill at all than to have a bill that I don’t think gets the job done in the right way,” said Congressman Byrne.
We asked if he thought lawmakers would be able to tackle both issues today.
“We’ve dealt with some pretty heavy issues yesterday and the day before so we are working to get a lot of things done this week. These are the last two big issues. I was with leadership last night talking about them so I know they have been working into the night – it is my anticipation at some point this morning that we are going to get something on both of those before we leave town today.”
We will be following both of these controversial stories on air and online. We will let you know what action congress takes before the August recess.