The House Should Pass The Bipartisan Senate Border Funding Bill

With Money To Address The Humanitarian Crisis At The Border Days Away From Running Out, ‘It’s A No-Brainer’ To Pass The Senate’s Supplemental Appropriations Bill, Which Has Overwhelming Bipartisan Support

The Bipartisan Senate Emergency Border Funding Bill Passed 84-8

This afternoon, the Senate passed its bipartisan emergency appropriations bill for the crisis at the border by an overwhelming 84-8 vote. (H.R. 3401, Roll Call Vote #185: Passed 84-8, 6/26/2019)

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “House Democrats have been consistently uncooperative and uninterested in anything except political posturing. They have talked endlessly about the suffering at the border but have resisted every effort to actually make a law and get help on the way…. First they objected to including the funding in the disaster bill. And now that they’ve finally passed something last night, it’s a go-nowhere proposal filled with poison-pill riders which the president would veto…. The Senate has a better and more bipartisan way forward. The bill negotiated by Chairman Shelby and Senator Leahy won huge bipartisan support in committee. It’s a productive compromise that would go a long way to begin addressing the border crisis. No poison pills; just a clean bill to provide the emergency appropriations the White House requested two months ago. We have waited long enough to act. We should not wait any longer. We must pass this measure this week.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 6/26/2019)


Leading Senate Democrats: Passing The Senate Border Aid Bill Is ‘A No-Brainer’

SEN. PAT LEAHY (D-VT), Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member: “I wish we could pass ours and see it go from there …That’s an easy way out for everybody — just pass that. (“House Approves Border Aid, Seeking to Curb Trump’s Crackdown,” The New York Times, 6/25/2019)

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA): “I want to thank both Senator Shelby and Senator Leahy for this bill. In my time on this committee, I have never seen a bill that is a better bill, and I have never seen a bill that has more comity surrounding it. It is a bill that I think puts the United States on the map in a very correct way. So I just want to thank the two of you. I am sure there were very long hours in doing it.” (U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee Markup, 6/19/2019)

SENATE MINORITY WHIP DICK DURBIN (D-IL): “We’re not going to get everything we want … That’s the nature of a divided Congress and the nature of compromise between the executive and legislative, but for goodness sakes, let us as Democrats be on record for humanitarian assistance as quickly as possible. (“It’s A Stalemate’: Emergency Migrant Funding Up In The Air As House, Senate Eye Different Measures,” USA Today, 6/25/2019)

“Tuesday’s House vote was not expected to garner significant Republican support. The White House announced it was opposed to the bill Monday, and House GOP leaders said they favored a competing bipartisan bill that passed the Senate Appropriations Committee on a 30-to-1 vote last week.” (“House Passes $4.5 Billion Emergency Border Aid Bill With Provisions For The Treatment Of Migrant Children In U.S. Custody,” The Washington Post, 6/25/2019)


After Substantial Pressure, Congressional Democrats Finally Agree That There’s A Crisis At The Border: ‘In Recent Weeks It’s Gotten Clearer And Clearer There Is A Dramatic Humanitarian Crisis’

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “The New York Times editorial board, of all places, wrote seven weeks ago, quote, ‘Congress, give Trump his border money.’” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 6/26/2019)

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL BOARD: “President Trump is right: There is a crisis at the southern border…. [A]s record numbers of Central American families flee violence and poverty in their homelands, they are overwhelming United States border systems, fueling a humanitarian crisis of overcrowding, disease and chaos…. Something needs to be done. Soon. Unfortunately, political gamesmanship once again threatens to hold up desperately needed resources.” (Editorial, “Congress, Give Trump His Border Money,” The New York Times, 5/05/2019)

‘There Is A Humanitarian Crisis At Our Southern Border. No One In This Room Will Dispute That’

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “[W]e want to move a package ... We are all for that.” (Sen. Schumer, Press Conference, 6/11/2019)

  • SEN. SCHUMER: “[T]he humanitarian aid is a sweet spot and some of the other provisions are…. The House wasn't for it but we were and if they negotiate with us in good faith I am sure we can come to a good compromise; I am quite confident of that.” (Sen. Schumer, Press Conference, 6/11/2019)

SEN. LEAHY: “There is a humanitarian crisis at our southern border. No one in this room will dispute that…. If we do not act, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), the office charged with caring for unaccompanied children, will run out of funding by the end of this month…. We need to take action.” (U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee Markup, 6/19/2019)

SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): “In recent weeks it’s gotten clearer and clearer there is a dramatic humanitarian crisis, again, at the border.” (“Democrats Make U-Turn On Calling Border A ‘Manufactured Crisis,’” The Hill, 6/19/2019)

SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT): “We’ve all agreed there is a humanitarian crisis in housing, medical care, education, basic necessities.” (U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 6/11/2019)

SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D-RI): “[W]e really do need to get together and help you solve the humanitarian aspects of this crisis. I do not think that a lot of the rhetoric that has been thrown at this issue has been helpful towards making that happen.” (U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 6/11/2019)

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): “… we absolutely think you’ve got to put more resources along the border.” (“Trump's Border Aid Request Stalls Amid Fresh Obstacles,” The Hill, 6/07/2019)


‘At Some Point In Early July We Are Probably Going To Be Out Of Money …This Isn’t Political; This Isn’t About Immigration’

“The two chambers now have only two days to spare ... HHS has warned Congress that it will exhaust its funding for housing migrant children at the end of the month — a scenario that would impede efforts to move them out of Border Patrol facilities.” (The Washington Post, 6/25/2019)

SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES ALEX AZAR: “We are full … We do not have capacity for more of these unaccompanied children to come across the border. At some point in early July we are probably going to be out of money …This isn’t political; this isn’t about immigration.(“Trump Official Says U.S. Is Running Out of Money to Shelter Migrant Kids,” Bloomberg News, 6/24/2019)

  • SECRETARY AZAR: “[B]y early July, we may be out of funding. That’s why we’ve had to pull back on alternative services just as a legal requirement. If we do not have money to carry forward the rest of the year, we have to pull back … to only those services for life and safety because we have to get beds. We have to take care of kids. Because once we run out of money in several weeks, our employees will not get paid. Our grantees will not get paid. They will be operating on IOU’s…. This is a desperate crisis. These kids have to be taken care of. Congress must act and give us the funding we need. This is not about politics. It is purely a humanitarian issue of caring for these kids.” (Fox News’ “The Daily Briefing w/ Dana Perino,” 6/06/2019)



Related Issues: Appropriations, Homeland Security, Immigration