Only CBS Highlights Congressional Battle Over Border Security Bill

With less than two weeks until Congress departs Washington, D.C. for its summer break, Republicans and Democrats are battling over how to best stop the flood of illegal immigrants from Central America crossing over the Texas-Mexico border. 

On Thursday, July 24, CBS This Morning was the only network morning news show to spotlight how “Congress is taking new action to solve the immigration crisis. Republicans in the House and Democrats in the Senate are pushing new plans to deal with the influx of children from Central America.” ABC and NBC’s morning shows were nowhere to be found on the border crisis on Thursday. [See video below.] 

CBS reporter Nancy Cordes noted “the fact that the two sides have now released their plans is progress but they are about $1.6 billion apart. And when the president’s original request was $4 billion, that’s a big gap.” Cordes’ report was fairly straightforward and provided a balance of sound bites from both Republican and Democrats in Congress to help explain the gridlock over a new bill to deal with the surge of illegal immigration in recent months. 

The CBS reporter detailed the different proposals: 

Democrats want to spend $2.7 billion. Republicans want to spent $1.5...Republicans want to deploy the National Guard, Democrats don’t...Republicans want each child to get a deportation hearing within seven days of their arrival... Republicans say they won't agree to agree to any new funding without changes to a 2008 law requiring every unaccompanied minor from Central America to get an asylum hearing.

Unfortunately, nowhere in Cordes’ report did she mention the Obama Administration’s failure to enforce current immigration law as a major source for such gridlock. Instead, the CBS reporter chalked up the lack of a bill to the current political climate in Washington. 

Kudos to CBS for continuing to cover the ongoing border crisis unlike the other “big three” networks. Rather than find time to discuss the issue on Thursday morning, NBC’s Today showed video of a giraffe escaping from its cage at a circus in Mexico. ABC’s Good Morning America gave nearly three minutes to a family being reunited with their dog after it went missing seven years ago.  

See relevant transcript below. 


CBS

CBS This Morning 

July 24, 2014

7:15:47

NORAH O’DONNELL: And Congress is taking new action to solve the immigration crisis. Republicans in the House and Democrats in the Senate are pushing new plans to deal with the influx of children from Central America. Nancy Cordes is on Capitol Hill. Nancy good morning. 

NANCY CORDES: Good morning. Well, the fact that the two sides have now released their plans is progress but they are about $1.6 billion apart. And when the president’s original request was $4 billion, that’s a big gap. On some things the two sides agree. They both want to hire at least 40 more immigration judges and they both want to crack down on Central American gangs. 

BARBARA MIKULSKI: We need more law enforcement and the help of the United States going after the real bums and scums which is these drug dealers. 

CORDES: But that is where the similarities end. Democrats want to spend $2.7 billion.  Republicans want to spent $1.5.

JOHN BOEHNER: What the president is asking for is a blank check. He wants us to just throw more money at the problem without doing anything to solve the problem. 

CORDES: Republicans want to deploy the National Guard, Democrats don’t. 

TIM KAINE: Why send National Guard to the border? These kids aren’t sneaking across the border, they're coming and turning themselves in to the first person they see.  

CORDES: Republicans want each child to get a deportation hearing within seven days of their arrival. Democrats like Xavier Becerra say that's not enough time. 

XAVIER BECERRA: They’re talking about speeding up the process. By eliminating a child's rights under the law, that's not good. 

CORDES: Republicans say they won't agree to agree to any new funding without changes to a 2008 law requiring every unaccompanied minor from Central America to get an asylum hearing. Republican Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida says they should be allowed to go home without a hearing if they choose like many Mexican children do.

MARIO DIAZ BALART: The status quo is not serving, I think, our national security interests. The status quo is also, I think, incentivizing folks to put children in harm's way. So the status quo is not acceptable. 

CORDES: The two sides only have about a week and a half to work out all these differences before they leave for a month for August recess. Charlie? 

ROSE: Nancy, thanks. 

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.