Sen. Graham pushes through asylum bill after waiving committee rules

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 11:26 AM PT — Thursday, August 1, 2019

Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Lindsey Graham pushed through his asylum bill by waiving committee rules. The legislation narrowly moved out of committee Thursday in a 12-to-10 vote, which means it can now be taken up by the full Senate for consideration.

Graham’s decision allowed Republicans to act alone in making the bill eligible for Thursday’s vote after Democrats skipped last week’s business meeting on the bill. The South Carolina lawmaker defended his actions by saying “the Judiciary Committee can’t be a place where nothing happens.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., joined at right by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the ranking member, speaks during a contentious markup in his panel as he tries to change asylum laws as a way to address the migrant crisis at the southern border, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

“We have a right to vote. You don’t want the committee to be ignored by the majority leader of either party, and just take a bill out of our committee and bring it to the floor because we can’t do our business. I’m not changing the rules. I’m making a motion in response to what you did last week.” — Senator Lindsey Graham, (R-S.C.)

His asylum proposal would increase the number of days migrant children can be held in custody, and it would require asylum seekers to file their claims from outside the U.S.

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