A Senate committee approved President Trump’s $4.6 billion funding proposal on Wednesday, June 19, to address the escalating humanitarian crisis at the southern border.
In a 30-1 vote, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the bill, sending it to the Senate floor next week for a vote.
The proposal includes $2.9 billion to care for border-crossing unaccompanied minors and an extra $1.3 billion to care for adult asylum-seekers and migrants.
The Washington Examiner reports that it also included $1.1 billion for Customs and Border Protection to “improve conditions at border entry points” and for “transportation, medical care, and items like clothing, baby formula, and other essential items.” It also includes $65 million for new immigration judges and to educate migrants on the legal process.
The Associated Press reported:
Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), will unveil the measure at an Appropriations Committee session Wednesday, aides to the duo said. A bipartisan vote is expected and both sides hope the measure can pass both chambers next week, just in time to replenish federal humanitarian aid coffers before they run completely dry.The legislation comes as record numbers of migrants are traveling to the border.
“This is a humanitarian crisis of gargantuan proportions. It needs to be dealt with and I hope we’re going to see a sign of bipartisan cooperation in the Appropriations Committee,” said Majority Leader Mitch McConnellR (-Ky.).
Meanwhile, top-level negotiations over paying the country’s bills and funding about $1.3 trillion in agency budgets are set to reconvene Wednesday, in an effort to head off a financial train wreck when a series of deadlines hit this fall.
The bipartisan budget talks are aimed at preventing automatic spending cuts threatening the top priorities of both Democrats and Republicans. McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are taking the lead, along with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Mick Mulvaney, President Donald Trump’s chief of staff.
The Democratic-controlled House has not yet released the text of its bill, but Republican sources told Fox News that a number of “radical” riders were being attached by Democrats that would nullify the immigration law and protect illegal immigrants who sponsor child migrants.
Democrats on the committee acknowledged to Fox News that there are “active discussions about a supplemental appropriations bill to address the humanitarian crisis President Trump has helped create at the border” but brushed off GOP claims that such proposals would assist child smuggling as “absurd.”