Senate passes $4.5B border bill, setting up fight with House

The Senate on Wednesday passed legislation to give President TrumpDonald John TrumpEsper sidesteps question on whether he aligns more with Mattis or Trump Warren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' As tensions escalate, US must intensify pressure on Iran and the IAEA MORE billions of dollars in new border funding, setting up a clash with House Democrats, who passed their own version of the bill earlier this week. 

Senators voted 84-8 on their $4.5 billion bill, which includes nearly $3 billion in humanitarian aid. 

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Sens. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoOvernight Defense: Woman accusing general of sexual assault willing to testify | Joint Chiefs pick warns against early Afghan withdrawal | Tensions rise after Iran tries to block British tanker Joint chiefs nominee: Trump's transgender policy about 'standards' Dem senators demand GOP judicial group discloses donors MORE (D-Hawaii), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeLiberal think tank: GOP paid parental leave proposals are too narrow Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act exposes Silicon Valley's hollow diversity slogans Overnight Defense: Senate rejects effort to restrict Trump on Iran | Democrats at debate vow to shore up NATO | Senate confirms chief of Space Command MORE (R-Utah), Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyHead of miners union calls Green New Deal's main goal 'almost impossible' Dem senators demand GOP judicial group discloses donors Warren reintroduces bill mandating climate disclosures by companies MORE (D-Mass.), Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezDem senators demand GOP judicial group discloses donors Senate passes .5B border bill, setting up fight with House Senate to vote on blocking Trump's Saudi arms deal as soon as this week MORE (D-N.J.), Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleySenate Democrat releasing book on Trump admin's treatment of migrants at border Sunday shows - Amash, immigration dominate Merkley on delaying endorsement: 'We have a different set of cards this time' MORE (D-Ore.), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe buck stops here: How to restore accountability to the federal regulatory system Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand Lawyer: Flynn will keep cooperating after co-conspirator revelations MORE (R-Ky.), Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenOvernight Defense: House approves 3 billion defense bill | Liberal sweeteners draw progressive votes | Bill includes measure blocking Trump from military action on Iran Senators urge Trump to sanction Turkey for accepting Russian missile shipment Republicans say they're satisfied with 2020 election security after classified briefings MORE (D-Md.) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHillicon Valley: Twitter says Trump 'go back' tweet didn't violate rules | Unions back protests targeting Amazon 'Prime Day' | Mnuchin voices 'serious concerns' about Facebook crypto project | Congress mobilizes on cyber threats to electric grid Top Democrat demands answers on election equipment vulnerabilities Advocates frustrated over pace of drug price reform MORE (D-Ore.) voted against the bill.

Lawmakers had hoped to get a bill to Trump’s desk before they leave for the July 4 recess. Leadership indicated after the Senate's vote that they would be talking about how to reconcile their bills, but absent an eleventh hour agreement the border funding is stalled until after the break.

Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyGOP struggles to find backup plan for avoiding debt default GOP balks at White House push for standalone vote on debt ceiling Lawmakers concede they might have to pass a dreaded 'CR' MORE (R-Ala.) said he expected staff discussions and talks between the "four corners," leadership in both parties and both chambers, would start "soon."

"The House bill has got a lot of provisions that would not be conducive to a quick agreement," Shelby added. "We'll see if the corners fit; I hope they fit."

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerNYT: Don't make Acosta a political martyr Charities say they never received donations touted by Jeffrey Epstein: report Schumer to donate Epstein campaign contributions to groups fighting sexual violence MORE (D-N.Y.) added that he thought leadership and the White House could hold an "informal conference," that could potentially let them get a deal before lawmakers leave town.

"It would be an informal conference, maybe of the four appropriators or maybe of the four leaders," he said. "As soon as possible we should have it."

Though the House and Senate largely align on the top line figure for their border bill, they are divided over several hot button policy issues including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Senate Republicans have indicated that they don't want to go to conference, despite the political and policy differences.

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Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneGOP struggles to find backup plan for avoiding debt default GOP frets over nightmare scenario for Senate primaries High anxiety hits Senate over raising debt ceiling MORE (S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican, told reporters both chambers going to conference, where they would hash out their differences, wasn’t a “viable” option.

"The House knows that they can't get a signature on their bill, and most of what they want is in our bill and ours is a bipartisan bill,” Thune said.

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynGOP put on the back foot by Trump's race storm GOP struggles to find backup plan for avoiding debt default Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand MORE (Texas), a member of GOP leadership, called the House bill “inadequate,” adding, “if people are sincere ... then I don’t know why they would want to delay this.”

But House Democrats have shut down calls to take up and pass the Senate bill as it's currently written, with leadership arguing they have some changes they want in the final bill.

House Democrats passed their own border legislation Tuesday after days of public wrangling among the caucus about the details of the bill.

The House bill does not include any Defense Department funding. It also doesn’t include $61 million to address a pay shortfall or $3.7 million in overtime costs for ICE. It includes myriad restrictions on how funds can and cannot be used and reinstates hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras after the administration slashed funding last week.

As part of an effort to win over more progressive support, House Democrats added a number of last minute provisions to their bill, including requiring Customs and Border Protection to enact health standards for individuals in custody, including implementing standards for both adults and children for “medical emergencies; nutrition, hygiene, and facilities; and personnel training.”

But the House bill cannot pass the Senate and has gotten a veto threat from the White House. To drive home the message, the Senate voted on the House-passed bill but it failed in an 37-55 vote.

The Senate also rejected an effort by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to require more than $4.5 billion in foreign assistance cuts to pay for the border legislation.

The White House's request included $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.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar pleaded with Congress during a Fox News interview earlier this month to pass new funding.

"We are running out of money. We are functionally out of space," he said. "Congress has got to pass a supplemental appropriation that President Trump has asked for." 

But Congress appears poised to miss that deadline absent a late U-turn by House Democrats or a quick agreement by leadership to make changes to the Senate bill.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse Democrat pushes for censuring Trump in closed-door meeting Trump: I don't have a racist bone in my body Ocasio-Cortez responds to fresh criticism from Trump MORE (D-Calif.) told reporters on Wednesday that she would not move the Senate bill.

“They passed their bill, we respect that. We passed our bill, we hope they will respect that,” Pelosi said.

Schumer backed up Pelosi saying that he prefers the Senate bill, but if the Senate bill passes “there should be a quick conference.”

He said that Pelosi had asked for four changes, that he said were reasonable.

"They're basic checks so that DHS [the Department of Homeland Security] doesn't do the kinds of things that no one wants to see them do," Schumer said, while declining to discuss specifics.

Shelby warned that the differences between the two bills were significant, but that he wanted to see the details of what Pelosi is asking for.

"We heard it was a few," he said, "and then we were shown it was many."

Updated at 5:26 p.m.