The Latest: House clears Senate version of border aid bill

Politics
Mitch McConnell

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., pauses before speaking to reporters following the Republican Conference luncheon, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 25, 2019. The GOP leader said his two priorities this week are to pass the National Defense Authorization Act and the border security bill. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Congress and the border aid package (all times local):

4:20 p.m.

The Democratic-controlled House is sending President Donald Trump a bipartisan $4.6 billion Senate-drafted measure to care for migrant refugees detained at the southern border.

The bill passed on a bipartisan vote that capped a Washington skirmish in which die-hard House liberals came out on the losing end in a battle with the White House, the GOP-held Senate, and Democratic moderates.

The measure would ease a cash crunch at federal agencies that care for migrants who have flocked over the border in huge numbers seeking asylum.

Final action came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi abandoned a plan to require more stringent care requirements for detained migrant families and children, many of whom have been held in harsh, overcrowded conditions.

The White House and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, however, held fast against Pelosi’s plan, claiming it was unworkable.

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3:30 p.m.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House will “reluctantly” pass the Senate version of a border funding package even though it won’t include the increased migrant protections Democrats had wanted.

Pelosi said in a letter to colleagues Thursday that she’s “gravely disappointed” in the Senate. But she said House Democrats “want to find a path to improve the conditions” at the southern border for children and families.

The decision appears to put Congress on track to approving a $4.6 billion package to care for the flow of migrants crossing the border amid a crisis that has sparked global attention amid poor facility conditions and some deaths. Federal money is set to run out in days.

Pelosi said the House will continue to fight for priorities in future legislation.

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2:40 p.m.

The House is set to vote on the Senate version of a border funding bill to care for thousands of migrants.

That’s according to two Democratic lawmakers exiting a meeting Thursday with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her leadership team amid a standoff in Congress over the funding package.

House Democrats were pressing for greater protections for migrants at the southern border. But the White House prefers the bipartisan measure approved overwhelmingly by the Senate.

Federal funding to care for the migrants, many fleeing Central America, runs out in a matter of days.

By Lisa Mascaro

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Noon

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi choked back tears over the photo of a migrant father and daughter killed crossing the Rio Grande River as she pushed for stronger protections in a border crisis funding bill.

Pelosi told reporters Thursday she’s a “lioness” when it comes to children. She called it a “shame that this should be the face of America around the world.”

Congress is at a standstill over a $4.6 billion funding package to prevent the border crisis from worsening. House Democrats want changes to the Senate-passed bill to better protect migrant children.

The White House prefers the bipartisan measure approved overwhelmingly by the Senate. Federal funding to care for the migrants, many fleeing Central America, runs out in a matter of days.

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9:55 a.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is rejecting changes that House Democrats want in a multi-billion dollar border bill.

Instead, the Kentucky Republican says it’s time for the House to accept a bipartisan package overwhelmingly approved by the Senate and send it to President Donald Trump for his signature.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her chamber’s Democrats want to add provisions to the Senate measure that would strengthen standards of care for detained migrant families and children.

But McConnell said Thursday on the Senate floor that his chamber’s measure “is the only game in town.”

He said the Trump administration might make administrative changes reflecting some of the House’s demands. But with Congress hoping to address public pressure to improve conditions for thousands of migrants, McConnell says it’s time to approve the Senate legislation.

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12:30 a.m.

Congress is at a standoff over a $4.6 billion aid package for the southern border, House Democrats saying a Senate measure doesn’t go far enough to care for thousands of migrant families and children.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is considering a fresh vote Thursday. Democrats want to add medical and hygiene standards and more protections for the children.

It’s a risky stalemate over a border crisis that has captured global attention amid unsettling reports of conditions at federal facilities. The funding is urgently for the humanitarian emergency on the U.S.-Mexico border and money runs out in a matter of days.

The GOP-held Senate on Wednesday passed the bipartisan $4.6 billion measure on a sweeping 84-8 vote.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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