House Passes $4.6 Billion Senate Border Bill

Lawyer Migrant children are taking care of toddlers in El Paso Border Control Patrol Station

House Passes $4.6 Billion Senate Border Bill

The GOP-held Senate on Wednesday passed a bipartisan $4.6 billion measure to deliver aid to the southern border before the government runs out of money to care for thousands of migrant families and unaccompanied children.

The Washington Examiner noted, "Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Wednesday she won't take up the Senate version, even though it is bipartisan and passed with an overwhelming majority". "In order to get resources to the children fastest, we will reluctantly pass the Senate bill", she wrote.

House Democrats passed the clean Senate border appropriations bill with none of the additional migrant child protections or accountability measures sought by Democrats.

The Senate rejected the House bill and if the House also passes the bipartisan Senate bill it is likely to get support from President Donald Trump. But whether that apparent and appalling need can break the gridlock of the US House and Senate remains to be seen.

The Senate bill, which passed the upper chamber 84-8, entails funding for law enforcement, including $145 million for military operations along the border.

The White House has signaled it would veto the House version, and has shown only lukewarm acceptance of the Senate bill.

Mr Trump on 1 May requested the aid for programs that house, feed, transport and oversee record numbers of Central American families seeking asylum in the United States and straining capacity at migrant shelters in border cities.

Democrats are split over a $4.5 billion bill created to provide emergency humanitarian aid to the southern border, The New York Times is reporting. "That is why we have language to stop transfers of money for immigration raids and detention beds".

Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, caustically chided the moderate Democrat Problem Solvers Caucus for not supporting Pelosi's changes.

"There is a humanitarian emergency at the border".

Lawmakers on Thursday were working to close a deal on a humanitarian funding package to address the migrant crisis on the border, with House Democrats appearing to acknowledge that their efforts to strengthen protections for migrant children while restricting funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement may not yield a legislative victory. For instance, the measure prohibits ICE from going after undocumented immigrants based on information obtained from potential sponsors of unaccompanied migrant children.

Both of these conditions had been proposed by House Democratic leaders in amendments that they abandoned earlier Thursday after opposition from the White House, the Senate and some moderate Democrats.

In exchange for Democrats supporting the Senate version, the Trump administration through vice president Mike Pence is said to have promised administrative changes in its handling of migrants.

Forcing Pelosi's hand, the Senate had passed its bill on Wednesday that gave Trump all of the $4.6bn he requested without numerous conditions included in the House measure.

Before the vote, Davis spoke in favor of it.

"Trump is responsible for these deaths", said Beto O'Rourke, one of several Democratic White House hopefuls who took to Twitter to lash out at the president. Pelosi said the children would not spend more than 90 days in an influx center, which would enable them to "safely be placed with family or other opportunities for their safety".

He said the Trump administration might make administrative changes reflecting some of the House's demands. "So many policy issues that we have responsibility for, including keeping our elections safe today, as well as protecting the children to the best of our ability".

The New York Times described the concession as a "striking defeat" for Mrs Pelosi, who was reportedly facing pressure from moderates within her own party. He said Border Patrol stations are holding 15,000 people - more than triple their maximum capacity of 4,000. The group, for whom immigration and improving the treatment of migrants are top priorities, called the bill "a betrayal of our American values" in a statement.

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