The U.S. sponsored and enacted human rights violations at the nation’s southern border led the Senate and House of Representatives to pass a $4.6 billion emergency funding bill Thursday afternoon, but progressives in Congress, frustrated with forced concessions, are making their anger known.
The vote, 305-102, came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reversed her previous call to reconcile the [Senate and House] bills to address the humanitarian crisis ahead of the July Fourth recess.
Pelosi, who said on Wednesday that she was a “lioness” for children, initially said that the House would not take up the Senate’s version of the bill. Progressives within the Democratic Party argued that it left too much wiggle room for the Trump Administration to redirect funds to maintaining the concentration camps at the U.S.-Mexico border, didn’t provide enough protections for children, and didn’t improve health care for the migrants and refugees being detained.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, (D-Washington) made it plain, “Nobody in that room trusts this President. Nobody. So, we have to make sure this money is being used for the children.”
After speaking with Vice-President Mike Pence, however, Pelosi sang a different tune.
“The children come first. At the end of the day, we have to make sure that the resources needed to protect the children are available,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to her caucus earlier Thursday. “Therefore, we will not engage in the same disrespectful behavior that the Senate did in ignoring our priorities. In order to get resources to the children fastest, we will reluctantly pass the Senate bill.”
The AP reports that the bill includes:
The legislation contains more than $1 billion to shelter and feed migrants detained by the border patrol and almost $3 billion to care for unaccompanied migrant children who are turned over the Department of Health and Human Services. It rejects an administration request for additional Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention beds, however, and contains provisions designed to prevent federal immigration agents from going after immigrants living in the country illegally who seek to care for unaccompanied children.
House Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that the bill, as is, is “entirely insufficient to protect vulnerable children in our care.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez agrees, telling CNN’s Jake Tapper:
“I do not believe we should be throwing more money to ICE. My district is 50% immigrant. I have an obligation and responsibility to protect them. I believe what we should ideally be doing is passing a pure humanitarian bill to get money straight to the kids.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, of course, doesn’t care about the children as much as the agencies terrorizing them.
“The United States Senate is not going to pass a border funding bill that cuts the money for ICE and the Department of Defense. It’s not going to happen. We already have our compromise,” McConnell said, calling the Senate bill “the only game in town.”
In exchange for Pelosi not being a “lioness” on the issue, Pence promised administrative changes, “including that members would be notified within 24 hours after the death of a child in custody and he agreed to the 90-day time limit on children spending time in an influx facility,” CNN reports.
McConnell also came out today stating that he was “willing to consider” a Democratic president’s Supreme Court nominee in 2021 if Trump loses reelection, calling it “politically unsustainable” to extend his blockade into the opening days of a new presidency, Politico reports.
Back-table politics at work, while children and their parents die.
The House held a moment of silence on the Floor for all migrants, then passed the bill to President Trump, who has indicated that he’ll sign it into law.
Ninety-five Democrats voted against the bill Thursday afternoon, while 129 supported it. Seven Republicans opposed the measure, with 176 in favor.