WASHINGTON — Utah representatives Chris Stewart, John Curtis and Ben McAdams, two Republicans and a Democrat, respectively, gave similar diagnoses of the problems leading to a humanitarian crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border, but they voted differently when an aid bill came up for a vote in the House of Representatives Tuesday night.
“This is a refugee crisis,” McAdams said, citing economic and public safety problems in the so-called “Northern Triangle” countries of Central America: Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.
“We can probably best help many of these people on the ground in their own country,” Curtis said.
Curtis and McAdams spoke to FOX 13 in interviews, while Stewart addressed the issue in a budget committee hearing.
“I'm a father. I'm a grandfather. I can't even begin to imagine the concern and the stress of these families and what they must feel,” Stewart told the committee.
Curtis and Stewart voted against the Democrat-backed emergency aid bill in the House on Tuesday night, while McAdams voted in favor.
The House bill includes constraints on the president in terms of border enforcement and the treatment of minors in custody. It also includes foreign aid to the Northern Triangle countries, which was taken away by President Donald Trump as a punishment for allowing citizens to emigrate north.
A bipartisan bill passed Tuesday in the Senate does not include those provisions which would likely inspire a Trump veto. The Senate bill includes funding for the military to assist efforts on the border.