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Rep. John Katko (R-NY) addresses the press during congressional border delegation visit to El Paso. Photo: Justin Hamel/AFP via Getty Images

Border officials told House Republicans today they are having to pull agents from patrolling the border to process and care for the growing number of migrant children and families in their custody, according to two sources familiar with the briefing.

Why it matters: Thousands of children are now being held for days and the number of people illegally crossing the border continues to rise, so shelters for minors are rushing to find more space.

  • Officials at the El Paso Central Processing Center briefed 13 Republican congressional members, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member John Katko, during their visit — which has been decried by some Democrats as a political stunt.

Between the lines: Border officials told members that 120 of the station's border patrol agents have been pulled from patrolling the border to help process migrants waiting to be transferred to detention centers or shelters, the sources said.

  • They've also had to pull from the same budget used for payroll and benefits to buy supplies for migrants.
  • Border officials expressed concern that the Biden administration would end the use of a public health order to quickly remove migrant adults and some families to Mexico — a Trump-era tool the Biden administration has continued to use except for unaccompanied minors.

What they're saying: McCarthy and others harshly criticized the Biden administration in a presser after the tour. “This trip has confirmed for me that there is indeed disorder at the border by executive order," Katko said.

  • Republican members also expressed concern that CBP was not testing migrants for coronavirus.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

North Korea claims latest missile test new weapon launched from submarine

North Korean state media claims the country's military fired this missile on Tuesday. Photo: Korean Central News Agency

North Korean state media announced that a detected ballistic missile launch off its east coast on Tuesday was a newly developed weapon test-fired from a submarine.

Why it matters: Pyongyang's latest in a series of recent missile launches into the sea happened hours after U.S. officials emphasized their commitment to restart negotiations on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, which have stalled since talks broke down during the Trump administration, AP notes.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's massive means test

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is offering progressives a trade: He'll vote for their cherished social programs if they accept strict income caps for the recipients, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s plan to use so-called means-testing for everything from paid family medical leave to elder and disabled care would drastically shrink the size and scope of the programs. It also would bring a key moderate vote to the progressive cause.

The China whisperer

Nick Burns. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee for ambassador to China will face aggressive questioning Wednesday about the most important, and potentially perilous, bilateral relationship in the world.

Why it matters: While Nick Burns is an experienced diplomat with support on both sides of the aisle, lawmakers want to use his confirmation hearing to force the administration into some tough positions on China.

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