House Should Pass Bipartisan Senate Humanitarian Funding Bill
‘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. The Shelby-Leahy Senate bill is the only game in town… It’s time to make a law. I urge my colleagues across the Capitol to take up the clean, bipartisan bill that the Senate passed 84 to 8 and send it on for President Trump’s signature without any more unnecessary delays.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the humanitarian crisis at our southern border:
“Eight weeks ago, the administration sent Congress an urgent request for humanitarian money for the border. For eight weeks, we’ve seen evidence nearly every day that the conditions have been getting worse. But during all this time our House Democratic colleagues have been unable to produce a clean measure to provide this humanitarian funding with any chance of becoming law. The proposal they finally passed this week was way to the left of the mainstream. The president made it clear it would earn a veto, not a signature. Even so, in an abundance of fairness, the Senate voted on Speaker Pelosi’s effort, poison-pill riders and all. It earned just 37 votes.
“Fortunately, we do have a chance to make law this week on a hugely bipartisan basis. Yesterday the Senate advanced a clean, simple humanitarian funding bill by a huge margin. Thanks to Chairman Shelby and Senator Leahy, this bipartisan package sailed through the Appropriations Committee, 30 to one. And yesterday it passed the full Senate – listen to this – 84 to 8. We sent that clean bill over to the House by a vote of 84 to 8. The Shelby-Leahy legislation has unified the Appropriations Committee. It has unified the Senate. The administration would sign it into law. So all our House colleagues need to do to help the men, women, and children on the border this week is pass this unifying bipartisan bill and send it on to the president.
“For weeks, we have heard our House Democratic colleagues speak a lot about the poor conditions, the overstretched facilities, the insufficient supplies. Today, our bill gives them the chance to actually do something about it. Now, I understand that instead of moving forward with this bipartisan bill, Speaker Pelosi is signaling she may choose to drag out the process even more, and might persist in some variety of the left-wing demands that caused the House bill to fail dramatically in the Senate yesterday.
“I understand that some of the further changes the House Democrats are discussing may be unobjectionable things the Trump administration may be able to secure for them administratively. But it is crystal-clear, that some of these new demands would drag this bipartisan bill way back to the left and jeopardize the Shelby-Leahy consensus product that unified the Senate and is so close to becoming law.
“For example: I understand that House Democrats may ask the Speaker to insist on — listen to this — cutting the supplemental funding for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Defense. In the middle of this historic surge on the border, they want to claw back some of this badly-needed money from the men and women on the front lines. It looks like these cuts would represent pay cuts to ICE staff, including pay that people have already earned, and cuts to the money for investigating child trafficking.
“Chairman Shelby and Senator Leahy have already reached a bipartisan agreement. Both sides have already compromised. We are standing at the five-yard line. And yet apparently, some in the House want to dig back into that ‘Abolish ICE’ playbook and throw a far-left partisan wrench into the whole thing. Well, let me be perfectly clear. I am glad the Speaker and the administration are discussing some of these outstanding issues. But if House Democrats send the Senate back some partisan effort to disrupt our bipartisan progress, we will simply move to table it.
“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. The Shelby-Leahy Senate bill is the only game in town. It’s time to quit playing games. It’s time to make a law. I urge my colleagues across the Capitol to take up the clean, bipartisan bill that the Senate passed 84 to 8 and send it on for President Trump’s signature without any more unnecessary delays.”
Related Issues: Homeland Security, Immigration