Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is bowing to pressure from Republicans and centrist Democrats in her party and allowing the House to vote on a Senate-passed border funding bill.
The decision is a major reversal for Speaker of the House Pelosi since previously far-left Democrats were working to draft up a more extreme border funding bill that put new restrictions on the detainment of illegal immigrants by Customs and Border Protection.
The Senate border funding bill provides $4.59 billion in funds to agencies like Customs and Border Protection, Health and Human Services, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and others that deal with the border and the handling of illegal immigrants.
The Senate bill passed by a 84-8 vote on Wednesday and now Congress will soon be taking up the matter. They will likely officially vote on the bill on Thursday afternoon. If they do not, they will need to take up the matter sometime before they break for a July 4 recess.
“My understanding is we’re going to do a clean Senate bill. I’ve been saying I’m OK on that,” Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) told Politico after leaving an emergency leadership meeting in Pelosi’s office on Thursday.
Before the meeting, Pelosi reportedly spoke to Vice President Mike Pence for an hour on the phone. The two discussed ways to appease far-left Democrats not happy with the Senate bill and looking to place new restrictions on the detainment of illegal immigrants. Pence reportedly urged Pelosi to allow Congress the chance to vote on the Senate bill without any changes.
BREAKING: House will take up Senate border bill as Pelosi folds her hand after moderate rebellion. Pence promised improvements at shelters lawmakers say
— Erik Wasson (@elwasson) June 27, 2019
Pelosi was negotiating with far-left Democrats about border funding on Monday and Tuesday night and she also spoke with President Donald Trump by phone about the matter on Wednesday.
A House-amended bill that added to the Senate bill was drafted, but it gained little bipartisan support. Politico reports that at least 18 moderate Democrats vowed to oppose it. The amended bill cut funding and added new restrictions to agencies dealing with illegal immigrants.
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said no amended-bill will pass the Senate even if one managed to pass through Congress. The senator has made it clear that the border funding bill passed by the Senate is the only option for Congress.
“The Senate bill is the only game in town. It’s time to quit playing games. Time to make law,” McConnell said.
Pelosi told reporters on Thursday morning that “further conversations” are needed in regards to the Senate border funding bill.
“We are looking forward to having further conversations on this matter. One step at a time,” she said.
She has now flipped the script and said through a public statement that the Senate bill is likely to be passed as-is.
“The children come first,” Pelosi said. “At the end of the day, we have to make sure that the resources needed to protect the children are available.”
The vote is already displeasing some Democrats. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter on Thursday afternoon to say that passing the Senate border funding bill without changes is a mistake.
“Under no circumstances should the House vote for a McConnell-only bill w/ no negotiation with Democrats. Hell no. That’s an abdication of power we should refuse to accept. They will keep hurting kids if we do,” the congresswoman tweeted.
Under no circumstances should the House vote for a McConnell-only bill w/ no negotiation with Democrats. Hell no.
That’s an abdication of power we should refuse to accept. They will keep hurting kids if we do.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 27, 2019
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