McConnell to force vote next week on Trump border funding request

Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report — Mueller Time: Dems, GOP ready questions for high-stakes testimony Election security to take back seat at Mueller hearing McConnell challenger faces tougher path after rocky launch MORE (R-Ky.) is pledging to force a vote on President TrumpDonald John TrumpChelsea Clinton announces birth of third child Ukrainian officials and Giuliani are sharing back-channel campaign information: report Trump attacks 'the Squad' as 'racist group of troublemakers' MORE's $4.5 billion request for emergency border money, regardless of whether or not the GOP can reach a deal with Democrats. 

McConnell told Fox News's "Fox & Friends" during an interview on Monday that he was planning to bring up a "freestanding" deal in an effort to force Democrats to go on the record either supporting or blocking the request for humanitarian aid legislation.

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"I'm going to bring it up freestanding next week and see if they really aren't interested in dealing with this massive humanity that we have to take care of at the border," McConnell said. "What's the objection? This is not about the wall but about the humanitarian crisis."

McConnell's plan to force a vote on a bill next week comes as the Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to mark up Trump's $4.5 billion request in committee on Thursday.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyThe Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants GOP wants commitment that Trump will sign budget deal Schumer warns Mulvaney against drawing hard lines on budget deal MORE (R-Ala.) told reporters late last week that they were still drafting the legislation that would be taken up in his committee. Though Republicans can pass it through the panel without support from the other side of the aisle, they'll need at least seven Democrats on board to get the measure cleared through the full Senate.

The White House’s request includes $3.3 billion for humanitarian aid, which the administration says would be used to increase shelters and care for unaccompanied minors, in addition to processing arrivals. They’ve also asked for roughly $1.1 billion for other border operations like expanding the number of detention beds and providing more investigation resources.

McConnell and Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee both say they want Congress to pass a bill before the end of the month, when they leave for the July 4th recess. But, so far, they haven't worked out what would be included in any agreement.

Democrats say they support providing additional humanitarian aid for the U.S.-Mexico border, including shoring up a Health and Human Services (HHS) office that is responsible for unaccompanied minors detained along the border and on the verge of running out of funding.

But trying to get funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or expanding the number of detention beds is a non-starter for Democrats.

McConnell, on Monday, argued that Democrats were suffering from "Trump derangement syndrome."

"Whatever he's for they are reflectively against," McConnell added. "I think it's safe to say the president is getting more cooperation out of Mexico than he is out of congressional Democrats."