House Dems at odds with Senate in $4.5 billion border bill

House Dems at odds with Senate in $4.5 billion border bill
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House Democrats on Friday unveiled a $4.5 billion bill to deal with the growing crisis on the southern border, but took a few decidedly different approaches than were included in a compromise bill passed in the Senate earlier this week.

“There are serious humanitarian needs at the border, and we all recognize the clear need to act,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyTop House Democrats call for watchdog probe into Pompeo's Jerusalem speech With Biden, advocates sense momentum for lifting abortion funding ban Progressives look to flex their muscle in next Congress after primary wins MORE (D-N.Y.). 

“This legislation would address the humanitarian crisis in a way that balances the needs at the border with the imperative to hold the administration accountable."


Like the Senate bill, the House bill would provide hundreds of millions of dollars for processing facilities, food, water and medical supplies for migrants being held along the southern border.

But the House bill also includes a slew of restrictions on how funds can and cannot be used, including conditions for how children should be treated, reporting and oversight requirements and reinstating aid to Central American countries that the Trump administration had cut off. 

“Given the Trump Administration’s history of abuses, Congress cannot and will not provide them with a blank check to continue its immoral and dangerous immigration policies," said Rep. Rosa DeLauroRosa Luisa DeLauroOvernight Health Care: CDC pulls revised guidance on coronavirus | Government watchdog finds supply shortages are harming US response | As virus pummels US, Europe sees its own spike Trump HHS official faces firestorm after attacks on scientists Ahead of a coronavirus vaccine, Mexico's drug pricing to have far-reaching impacts on Americans MORE (D-Conn.), who chairs the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education.

The bill includes funds for more field specialists and case management services in the Department of Homeland Security; $2.5 million for small, quickly-deployable shelters and $200 million for a "multi-agency processing pilot" based on a proposal from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

But it doesn't include $61 million to address a pay shortfall or $3.7 million in overtime costs for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employees. It also doesn't include any funding for the Department of Defense.

The bill sets up a clash with the Senate, which had painstakingly worked out its own bipartisan compromise bill with the expectation that it would pass quickly through both chambers.