Top Democrat urges Pelosi to take Senate border bill

Sen. Patrick Leahy (Vt.), the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee, said Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) should approve a Senate-passed bill to provide $4.59 billion to address the border crisis.

“Considering the tragedy on the border and considering the fact we really had to fight against an administration that at first, people like Mr. Mulvaney, didn’t want anything, they ought to accept what Sen. Shelby and I put through,” Leahy said Thursday, referring to the battle he and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) faced in putting together a compromise despite initial opposition from acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. 

{mosads}“No Republican gets everything they want and no Democrat gets everything they want. Our bill is a good compromise,” he added.

The House and Senate this week passed competing border funding bills. While they largely align on the top-line figure, they are divided over several hot-button policy issues including Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

A senior Republican official familiar with Pelosi’s latest counteroffer to the Trump administration said she wants to close the temporary influx facility in Homestead, Fla., which is holding more than 2,000 minors, and the elimination of defense funding in the emergency border supplemental package.

Privately operated influx facilities such as the one at Homestead are exempt from the same requirements that apply to government-run child shelters.

The Senate-passed bill includes $145 million in defense funding for the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force and Army National Guard for operating expenses such as strategic lifts, medical assistance and mobile surveillance.

A senior Democratic aide disputed the Republican official’s characterization of Pelosi’s counter offer.

“This is completely false,” the aide said of the GOP’s characterization of Pelosi’s offer, but declined to provide any further detail.

Tags Mick Mulvaney Nancy Pelosi Patrick Leahy Richard Shelby

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