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

The Senate on Wednesday passed legislation to give President TrumpDonald John TrumpTed Cruz knocks New York Times for 'stunning' correction on Kavanaugh report US service member killed in Afghanistan Pro-Trump website edited British reality star's picture to show him wearing Trump hat 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. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Sens. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoOvernight Health Care: Juul's lobbying efforts fall short as Trump moves to ban flavored e-cigarettes | Facebook removes fact check from anti-abortion video after criticism | Poll: Most Democrats want presidential candidate who would build on ObamaCare Lawmakers urge DNC to name Asian American debate moderator Democratic senator on possibility of Trump standing up to the NRA: 'That's just such BS' MORE (D-Hawaii), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeExclusive: Kushner tells GOP it needs to unify behind immigration plan Manufacturing group leads coalition to urge Congress to reauthorize Ex-Im Bank Overnight Defense: GOP grumbles after Trump delays military projects for wall | House panel hints at subpoena for Afghanistan envoy | Kabul bombing raises doubts about Taliban talks MORE (R-Utah), Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyYoung insurgents aren't rushing to Kennedy's side in Markey fight Ocasio-Cortez endorses Markey in Senate race amid speculation over Kennedy candidacy House votes to block drilling in Arctic refuge MORE (D-Mass.), Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezAs NFIP reauthorization deadline looms, Congress must end lethal subsidies Senate Democrats warn Trump: Don't invite Putin to G-7 Pelosi warns Mnuchin to stop 'illegal' .3B cut to foreign aid MORE (D-N.J.), Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyOvernight Health Care: Juul's lobbying efforts fall short as Trump moves to ban flavored e-cigarettes | Facebook removes fact check from anti-abortion video after criticism | Poll: Most Democrats want presidential candidate who would build on ObamaCare Overnight Energy: Democrats call for Ross to resign over report he threatened NOAA officials | Commerce denies report | Documents detail plan to decentralize BLM | Lawmakers demand answers on bee-killing pesticide Oregon Democrats push EPA to justify use of pesticide 'highly toxic' to bees MORE (D-Ore.), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRand Paul: Almost every mass shooter 'is sending off signals' Liz Cheney says world is more stable, 'safer' under Trump Sunday shows preview: Democratic candidates make the rounds after debate MORE (R-Ky.), Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenProgressive tax-the-rich push gains momentum Senators pressure Trump to help end humanitarian crisis in Kashmir Democratic candidates are building momentum for a National Climate Bank MORE (D-Md.) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenProgressive tax-the-rich push gains momentum Key Senate Democrat unveils proposal to tax the rich Overnight Health Care: Trump seeks ban on flavored e-cigarettes | Purdue Pharma nears settlement with states, cities over alleged role in opioid epidemic | Senate panel cancels vote on key spending bill amid standoff 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 ShelbySenators struggle to get spending bills off ground as shutdown looms Congress set to ignore Trump's wall request in stopgap measure Overnight Defense: Dems grill Trump Army, Air Force picks | House chair subpoenas Trump Afghanistan negotiator | Trump officials release military aid to Ukraine 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 SchumerSchumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill Sinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneTrump, lawmakers consider app that would conduct background checks: report 'Mike Pounce' trends on Twitter after Trump slip at GOP retreat The Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same 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 CornynSenators struggle to get spending bills off ground as shutdown looms The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation The Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same 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 PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico This week: House jump-starts effort to prevent shutdown Schumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill 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.