Published: Sat, June 29, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

House approves Senate version of border bill after Pelosi yields

House approves Senate version of border bill after Pelosi yields

The Republican-led Senate on Wednesday passed a $4.6 billion bill to address the migrant crisis at the southern border, setting up a clash with House Democrats, who had passed a different version of similar legislation.

The bill passed on a bipartisan vote that capped a Washington skirmish in which die-hard House liberals came out on the losing end in a battle with the White House, the Republican-held Senate, and Democratic moderates. The Democratic-controlled House passed its version of the bill earlier this week with a stronger focus on protecting migrant children.

The emergency money would provide a much-needed financial injection to facilities along the U.S. -Mexico border, amid a growing crisis that has seen migrant children housed in squalid conditions, sometimes with no soap, toothpaste or showers, little adult supervision and insufficient food.

"We are calling upon the Trump Administration and the Senate to engage in an immediate conference to do the best we can for the children before we leave for the 4th of July", she said in her letter to Democrats, adding, "Our leverage with the Senate and the Administration is strengthened by the unity of House Democrats".

In a phone call with Pelosi, US Vice President Mike Pence said the Trump administration would notify Congress of the death of any migrant child within 24 hours and impose a 90-day limit on how long children can remain in an "influx" facility, where migrants are first sent upon crossing the southern border, NBC News reported.

"His Senate bill is a militarization bill", Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said on Twitter.

The House and Senate bills ensure funding could not be shifted to Mr. Trump's border wall and would block information on sponsors of immigrant children from being used to deport them.

The push by Senate Democrats, and some Republicans, for the amendment is part of a broader concern among lawmakers that the Trump administration has put the US on course for conflict. The retreat underscored deep divisions among House Democrats that Pelosi had mostly been able to hold in check until now.

"A congressional vote is a pretty good signal of what our constituents are telling us - that another war in the Middle East would be a disaster right now, we don't want the president to just do it on a whim", said Sen.

Mueller agrees to appear before two House panels next month
Robert Mueller has agreed to testify before US Congressional committees after being issued with subpoenas, Democrats have said. Now, Mr Mueller will be available to directly answer whether impeachment proceedings are what he is suggesting.

"Very few people here have actually had to govern, and they don't know what that looks like yet", said veteran Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., noting that only a fraction of House Democrats served in the majority until this year. McConnell had expressed hope late Wednesday night that the substantial bipartisan majority that passed the Senate bill would convince the House to quickly pass the Senate measure.

"These kids that we are here to try and protect deserve more than grandstanding - they deserve medicine, soap and clothing", he said.

Pelosi was unmoved by McConnell's threat, and warned he would own the public reaction if Congress is unable to put a bill on the president's desk before the Independence Day recess.

"In any of these things, this is about not what Congress would do", Pelosi said. It's not going to happen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Senate Democrats' chief negotiator on the measure, citing the Appropriations Committee's overwhelming approval, which presaged the Senate's 84-8 final passage.

On the other hand, Senate Minority Leader Sen.

"If House Democrats send the Senate back some partisan effort to disrupt our bipartisan progress, we will simply move to table it", McConnell promised. Holding nearly no cards, Pelosi abruptly brought the Senate-approved bill to the House floor, without the revisions, infuriating progressives.

"There is a humanitarian emergency at the border".

The need for funding has become more urgent as attorneys last week called attention to more than 300 children detained in squalid conditions at a border patrol facility in Clint, Texas.

Trump has made cracking down on immigration a centerpiece of his administration but officials are saying they will soon run out of money for border agencies.

Like this: